There’s guilt and then there’s condemnation. One tells you what you did was wrong. The other tells you that you are inherently wrong and bad. A healthy regret – guilt – about wrong things that we’ve done leads to repentance and reconciliation while the other leads to death. Today’s devotional by Max Lucado, reposted from biblegateway.com, talks about the healthy kind of regret that will lead you into freedom and life.
Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash
There is an old story about the time Emperor Frederick the Great visited Potsdam Prison. He spoke with the prisoners, and each man claimed to be innocent, a victim of the system. One man, however, sat silently in the corner.
The ruler asked him, “And you, sir, who do you blame for your sentence?”
His response was, “Your majesty, I am guilty and richly deserve my punishment.” Surprised, the emperor shouted for the prison warden: “Come and get this man out of here before he corrupts all these innocent people.”
Regret and remorse are emotions often experienced after someone has done something that they know is wrong. However, God does not want us to wallow in regret and remorse. These emotions can be a starting point for us to begin down the road to healthy resolution of a wrongdoing, but you don’t want to get stuck there. It is not the path that is going to bring the desired result of forgiveness of a wrong that has been committed. These emotions do not help us adequately deal with the sin in our lives and bring closure and peace. On the contrary; they are a quagmire that gets us stuck in a cycle of negative emotions if we don’t move past them. Click on the arrow to listen to Sunday’s message by Mike Fields and see what God’s alternative to regret and remorse is and how it can bring forgiveness and freedom from guilt and condemnation.
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