DEFINITION: Guilt is a feeling of wrongdoing, sinfulness, and a failure to measure up that arises from your conscience. It is the discernment and ability to evaluate your conduct in terms of what is right or wrong.
FACTS ABOUT GUILT:
There are two types of guilt. True guilt and false guilt. For a believer, true guilt results from breaking God’s law and is a justified emotion. Sorrow, which arises from real guilt, leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). False guilt–unmerited guilty feelings–occur because of unjustified accusations by Satan who brings up past sins that have already been forgiven by God.
True guilt results from sins of commission and omission. Sins of commission are wrong things you do. A sin of omission is when you know the right thing to do but do not do it (James 4:17).
True guilt is a positive emotion. Feelings of guilt over doing wrong lead you to repent and confess your sin. Godly sorrow–which is also called guilt–leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10).
False guilt is a tool of the enemy. Satan will bring up past sins and failures and try to instill false guilt. But the Bible declares that there is no condemnation to those in Christ who have received Jesus as Savior and had their sins forgiven (Romans 8:1).
Guilt results in negative physical and emotional reactions. Unrequited guilt affects your emotions, which ultimately causes stress which can lead to stress-related physical and mental conditions. It can cause you to be critical of and constantly blame others and gives rise to feelings of unworthiness and/or shame.
DEALING WITH GUILT:
Do not try to cover your sin. Adam tried to deal with guilt by blaming Eve. Eve tried to blame the serpent. You will not prosper by covering you sin (Proverbs 28:13). Confess your sin to God, ask forgiveness, and ask Him to remove the guilt you are feeling.
Reject false guilt. When Satan tries to cause guilt over your past sins, remember that these sins have been forgiven and forgotten by God (Psalm 103:12). Since God does not remember them, who are you to do so (Jeremiah 31:34)? Pray that God will give you a conscience that is clear before God and man (Acts 24:16). Immediately reject all attempts of the enemy to plague you with false guilt.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT GUILT:
Read how the Prophet Nathan confronted King David regarding the sin that resulted in his justified guilt (2 Samuel 11-12:25). Read how David dealt with his guilt in Psalm 51.
Forgive my hidden faults. (Psalm 19:12)
Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways. (Psalm 25:7)
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. (Psalm 32:1)
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord” – and you forgave the guilt of my sin. (Psalm 32:5)
My guilt has overwhelmed me like a burden too heavy to bear. (Psalm 38:4)
I am troubled by my sin. (Psalm 38:18)
Save me from all my transgressions. (Psalm 39:8)
When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. (Psalm 65:3)
If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness. (Psalm 130:3-4)
… as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.(Psalm 103:12)
He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
Though our sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25)
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you. (Isaiah 44:22)
We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:6)
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:34)
It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. (Mark 2:17)
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: (John 1:12)
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. (Acts 24:16)
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? (Romans 6:1-2)
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:18)
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:18-25)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2)
…Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. (Romans 10:13)
You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Corinthians 7:10)
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. (Ephesians 1:7)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. (James 4:17)
If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives. (1 John 1:8-10)