DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I believe Jesus has forgiven me, but I still feel guilty. I haven’t committed any crimes or done anything seriously wrong, but I still feel burdened by this nagging feeling that I don’t measure up. What’s wrong? — M.M.
DEAR M.M.: Let me ask you a question: What has God done with your sins? Does he still hold them against you? Does he still look on you as a guilty, sinful person?
I suspect you know the answer (at least in your mind, if not in your emotions). The answer is simple: God has forgiven all your sins, if you have truly come to Christ and trusted him alone for your salvation. Look at that sentence again; God has forgiven all your sins, not just some of them!
To put it another way, when Christ died on the cross, all your sins were placed on him, and he took upon himself the judgment that you deserved. The Bible says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
Why, then, do we still feel guilty? One reason may be because we still cling to a particular sin, and we need to repent of it and seek God’s forgiveness and help. Or some people feel guilty because as children they were told they didn’t measure up to their parents’ expectations, and they have a hard time overcoming those feelings of failure.
But often we feel guilty simply because we refuse to believe what Christ has already done for us. But if God has forgiven us, why should we still feel guilty? Fill your mind and heart with God’s promises of forgiveness. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
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