Guilt is bad, many counselors and therapists tell us. Guilt is therapeutic, we learn from the counsel of the Bible. Which is right? to feel guilt is to:
- Admit need. You have fallen short of expectations, and you’re ashamed. You want to do better, but how? You want to enjoy the respect of people around you, but how to recover it?
- Admit imperfection. What a moment of insight to discover that you’re not perfect. Something’s wrong and needs to be fixed. Who’s going to fix it?
- Admit hope. You’re looking for something more, something lasting, something pure-happiness not mixed with greedy motives or self-centeredness. Where can you find it?
Guilt leads to God: our need for God, our hope in God. That makes guilt a very good thing. Don’t run from guilt, or dismiss it, or regard it as a psychological complex amenable to therapy or drugs. Let guilt lead you straight to God, who always forgives, restores, and lightens the load. In Christ, guilt is forgotten, dismissed, washed, and drained. Guilt is a hunger for God, and God has a feast ready for you.
PSALM 38:4 – My guilt has overwhelmed me
like a burden too heavy to bear.