One of my greatest fears is being guilty, well of being found guilty of something. On dark days this fear drives me to be the best worker, the best mom, the best wife, and the best friend. I never want the fault to be mine. Yet, I always fall short.
Of course, I never think these things out loud. Most of these things are subconscious desires that drive my behavior, but whenever I think about why I do the things that I do, they point back there. I don’t want to be found guilty. I always want to forgive, but I never want to be forgiven.
It is enslaving. A few years ago, I realized that no matter what something would always be my fault and I couldn’t earn my way out of it. It terrified me. I realized that I wanted to be better for my own sake. Deep down, I wanted to prove that I didn’t need to be forgiven, but that somehow, I could make up for my mistakes.
These verses prove me wrong; I’m an enemy and I could never atone for my own sin:
“None is righteous, no, not one;no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.”“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”“Their feet are swift to shed blood;in their paths are ruin and misery,and the way of peace they have not known.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” –Romans 3: 10-18
These verses give me hope; this hope reaches beyond my poor attempt at good behavior:
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”–Romans 5: 6-11
My guilt has been taken care of. I was an enemy, but I’ve been forgiven. This miraculous love of God frees me from trying to make myself right. I can rejoice in his sacrifice and grace and extend grace to others and myself. True love frees us from guilt and fear. John says, in first John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
God has freed us from the fear of ultimate punishment. His love is real and it is sweet. The battle for our hearts has been won. God calls us to stand in his victory, to rest in His identity for us and others, and enjoy the free love of Christ.
Hallelujah, what a Savior.
This is a beautiful song about the faithfulness of God’s love by Sandra McCracken.