Ever had a guilty conscious?
When you have done something wrong and it feels like anxiety and shame have stuck onto you like a leech, sucking you dry?
Going about your day-to-day hoping you don’t have to face THAT person or feel ashamed about what you said?
Anxiously waiting for the moment everyone finds out about your secret?
I have. A LOT.
We have all done things that are wrong:
- Made bad decisions
- Doing the thing you know you shouldn’t
- Saying yes when you should have said no
- Disobeying God
This list could go on and on…….
Sin has some pretty hefty consequences and one thing that I have found is that it makes life WAY TOO COMPLICATED. We walk around feeling like the world is closing in and guilt can weigh us down.
There are few things worse in life than a guilty conscious.
Paul seems to have found the secret to living a FREE and LIGHT life. (Man, that sounds good! I want to live like that!)
What’s the secret, Paul? Did you just live the perfect life and never sin? Did you just mess up so much that it eventually felt normal? Tell us!
Here is what Paul said:
16 I always do my best to have a clear conscience toward God and men.
Is that it? Just keep my conscience clear before God and man? Surely there must be more to it?
That is it. Sin makes things complicated. The Gospel makes it simple.
You can life a FREE and LIGHT life, too.
How do I do that?
1. Clear Conscience before God:
The Gospel blows my mind on a daily basis. It is the secret sauce for having a clear conscience.
When we put our faith in Jesus, there is NO LIMIT to His grace and forgiveness. He will ALWAYS have more to give us.
God is not an angry Dad waiting for you to sneak into your house after midnight so that he can turn the lamp on and say, “AHA! I caught you! Get ready for the hiding of your life!”. NO! He is a LOVING, FORGIVING Father that is always ready to show us grace that we don’t deserve.
Now, don’t get me wrong, God DOES point out our sin but maybe not for the reason you think.
The accuser (Satan) will point out our sin to try cripple us but our loving Father points it out to EMPOWER us to WALK FORWARD and live FREE.
He doesn’t do it to shame us, He does it to PROMPT US to access the power of the Holy spirit to walk away from that sin and live a different life.
Shame is not yours to carry, Jesus took it all when he hung on that cross.
That is WONDERFUL! That means that I can bring my complicated mess to God to receive forgiveness NO MATTER WHAT and He doesn’t stop there, He empowers me to live a different life.
I want to do that daily.
What can you confess to God today?
2.Clear conscience before people:
Great, now God forgives me! But why does Debby still give me the stink eye every time I see her at the office water cooler? Why does it feel like I can cut the tension with a knife when I am with my family?
God calls us to do some brave things. One of them is to go to the people that we have hurt and to admit that we were wrong. This can be daunting for two reasons:
- I am prideful.
- I am scared of how they will react.
There is something about coming to someone you have wronged with humility and love that can diffuse any bomb you thought would blow up. Sin breaks relationships down, the Gospel builds them up.
Who do you need to speak to today? What do you have to confess to them?
You will be surprised at what God can do with a mess.
God wants you to live A FREE and LIGHT life. It could be just one conversation away.
(Take a deep breath)
God… Your love for me blows me away. I make mistakes, but you are always ready to forgive me and embrace me with loving arms. Search my heart and point out anything in my life that I need to confess to you.
Thank you for your forgiveness, God. Thank you that Jesus has already paid the price for that sin. Empower me with your Holy Spirit to walk away from those things and to live a different life.
Holy Spirit, point out anyone that I need to apologise to. I want to humble myself and see peace come in this situation. Give me boldness and wisdom as I have that conversation. Thank you that you are with me every step of the way.
Help me to live a simple, free and light life with you, Jesus!
You are so, so good to me!