Tuesday, January 8, 2008

False Guilt

False guilt can be an impossible burden for any believer to carry. The shame that nags us can cause us to doubt our salvation and, even more, to doubt God's love and goodness. We start to wonder whether our salvation is real. Thankfully, though, there is some relief in the realization that it's false guilt.

It's helpful to clearly identify the root cause of our guilt. Is it caused by legalism or from listening to the criticism of others? (In my last blog I described several potential causes.) Now we need to affirm three truths:

I am special. Any reason we can possibly give to "justify" otherwise is a lie straight from Satan! Each one of us is a one-of-a-kind creation. The Lord chose to create us and endow us with one-of-a-kind talents and abilities meant to be used for His glory (Eph. 2:10). He knew what each of our days would bring even before we lived the first one (Psalm 139:16b).

I am loved. Our heavenly Father send His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins in our place so we could live with Him eternally. We don't have to do a single thing to earn His love; it has always been ours for the taking. All that is required of us is that we believe He died in our place, was buried, and then rose again.

I am forgiven. 1John 1:9 promises us, "if we confess our sins he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." The Bible promises the process as simple as that. Confess. Forgiven. Believe.

Since it is Satan, our enemy, who stimulates this sense of false guilt, our final step in the process is to renounce his lies. We must replace the guilt with the biblical promise in 1John. We must replace lies with truth. We must make a declaration to this effect: "In the name of Jesus Christ, I reject these feelings of guilt, because they have absolutely no scriptural basis. They are nothing but lies and I refuse to acknowledge them!" The result of this action will be the lifting of the heavy weight of false guilt from our hearts and minds. In his book The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren, stresses that we shouldn't argue with Satan. We should simply renounce him and move our minds onto something else.

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I've been thinking about my blogs. They seem to be more and more impersonal and that is not what I intended for my blog to be. I intended for it to be a place for sharing ideas and coming to know and strengthen our relationships with our God. So I have been busy writing something else for a couple days now. I will continue on with the blogs I already have written (I think I have about 10 more) but then I will try switching over to something new. I have been reading and writing out my thoughts on death and dying and heaven and hell. Fun stuff!!! It is nowhere near ready to write in my blog so I'm glad I do have a supply of them already written ahead of time so I can now devote my time to writing and preparing these new writings. Hopefully by the time I finish with the ones I have now I will have my other writings in some form to put into new blogs. What these new ones will be, will be my thoughts on different subjects. I won't have all the answers to my own questions but maybe they will spur you on to do some thinking of your own. That, I think, is closer to what I had originally planned for my blog. One problem I may have when it comes to actually typing them into the system is knowing where to stop to make segments equal to enough for one day at a time. When I write I just write and don't worry about the length or whether there's a breaking point somewhere so I may have to write "continued tomorrow" on them or something as such that will allow you to break for the day. But I think that will allow me to return to my original plan for my blog.

I got onto the subject of death and dying because I got to thinking that if someone asked me what I believed about the subject, I wouldn't be able to articulate what it is I actually do believe. And I decided that there are probably other people out there who are in the same situation. As believers we quite often can't put into words what it is we believe in our hearts. And, of course, that will open the subject and myself to criticism. (Perhaps you won't agree with me on certain points and that is fine.) Maybe we can get a discussion going back and forth. I am always open to criticism. It may hurt sometimes but it allows us to firm up our personal beliefs and shows us where we need to better articulate our thoughts (or at least mine).

Also by changing the format, it will, I hope, bring a freshness back to my blog. I don't like the way these devotions have turned out. They're just too didactic, pedantic, and boring. (That's our vocabulary lesson for the day, LOL!) So I'm excited about making the change. I think it will be fun. It will be a lot more work on my part. Remember that I have to do all the research on these devotionals and do all the writing. These will be my own creations; I won't be borrowing from other writers and I like that a lot better. It may turn out to be more work and time consuming than I can afford to spare, but I'd nevertheless like to give it a try. I'll need to be aware of things to write about but theology gives me plenty of subjects to write on. This may not work, and if it doesn't I hope you will stick with me as I experiment. We can learn and grow together and maybe I'll get more comments if my readers understand that I'd really like feedback. I don't want people to disagree with me just to be argumentative but honest input will always be appreciated.

So I'm excited thinking about the change. A bit scared too because it will mean more work for me but hopefully I can do it. It's worth a try anyway. So look ahead with anticipation for something different and I hope better. I'm just not happy with my blog the ways it is now. It's boring and flat. So let's spice it up a little bit. The thing is, my dissatisfaction has caused me to contemplate discontinuing my blog and I think it deserves another chance before I do something so drastic. I will be giving you my personal take on things and hopefully you'll be giving me some of yours too. Enough for today (and that may be the exact way I have to continue my blog from day to day; just say that's enough until tomorrow!).

We're due for more rain today. It has been overcast and dark all morning with substantial wind gusts occasionally. We have a prayer meeting scheduled tonight at 6:30 and I just hope and pray that it isn't raining enough to keep people home. This is National Prayer Week and we need as many Christians praying as possible. There isn't enough prayer in the world as it is. And we have lots and lots of things to pray for so let's all crank it up a little! I'm still in my pjs and it's almost noon. (Guess you know now my chores aren't done either.) Oh well. But I do need to get busy. Give me your thoughts on the direction I hope to take my blog. Send me an email if you don't want, or can't, submit a comment to the blog itself. So until tomorrow...

1 comment:

Woman of Faith said...

I think it would be great to hear your own thoughts, versus sharing from other authors, although I totally enjoy reading your blog when I can. I try to think of different ways to spice mine up, too. I think our blog should be for ourselves, though, and if others like it-good. If not, then too bad. I think it is very therapeutic to write your thoughts out every day (or type them). I'm going to try and keep reading, so keep writing. DO NOT delete your blog. I love it.