Guilt is a huge load for anyone to carry

Published 5:09 pm Friday, January 27, 2006

By Staff
Jesus said in the gospel of Luke, chapter 17, verse 1, “It is impossible that no offenses should come …”
God is God - perfect, holy, sinless, divine, other. We are human - fallen, susceptible to the forces of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
Jesus said it is impossible to live without offense.
Jesus continued in Luke, chapter 17, about repentance and forgiveness - repentance for our offenses and forgiveness toward those who offend us.
Guilt is part of the human condition. Even if we are not directly guilty, we may feel guilty. There is victim mentality, a mindset produced by self-pity and wrong perspectives.
There is false guilt, a sense of feeling guilty for being alive and using space on the planet. This false guilt results from not being taught to value the gift of life given to us by God.
Then, of course, there is real guilt, the result of our sin.
Guilt never goes away and its power to dominate our thinking never wanes. A lifetime can be wasted seeing everything through the grid of guilt.
Jacob was the son of Isaac, the grandson of Abraham. Jacob had twelve sons, and the eleventh son, Joseph, was his favorite. Jacob made this very clear, so Joseph's brothers hated Joseph (Genesis 37:4).
Because Joseph's brothers hated and envied him, they plotted to do him harm. On an occasion when Joseph came to them in the field, they grabbed him, threw him into a pit, sold him to some slave traders, and told their father that a wild beast had killed Joseph.
These were evil deeds committed by Joseph's brothers, and, obviously, they had a vow of silence between them lest the truth should come to light.
The slave traders took Joseph to Egypt. He was auctioned off to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's palace guard.
Through a series of circumstances, Joseph became a powerful ruler in the land of Egypt.
Joseph's brothers were guilty of mistreating Joseph and their father. They carried this guilt continually.
After 20 years, Joseph's brothers are brought face to face with Joseph. They did not recognize him, but he knew who they were. The brothers had come to Egypt to buy grain. Joseph was rough with them on this initial meeting.
The response of the brothers to their difficulty in Egypt confirms that guilt is a huge load to carry. In Genesis, chapter 42, verse 21, the brothers say, “We are truly guilty concerning our brother, for we saw the anguish of his soul when he pleaded with us, and we would not hear; therefore this distress has come upon us.”
Doubtless every negative circumstance in the brothers' lives was filtered through the grid of guilt.
When Joseph made himself known to his brothers, they feared reprisal, but Joseph proclaimed strongly that he saw the circumstance as a sovereign act of God. Joseph said to his brothers in Genesis, chapter 45, verse 5, “But now, do not therefore be grieved or angry with yourselves because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.”
Joseph was not bitter, but his brothers still carried their guilt.
Seventeen years later Jacob died. It had been decades since the incident against Joseph by his brothers, yet their first thought when their father passed away was that Joseph would get even (Genesis 50:15). Joseph held no bitterness against his brothers and sought no revenge.
Guilt is like an ugly stain left in a cup long after the vile fluid is poured out. Scrub as much as you like and the stain is still there.
What can we do with our guilt? We can put it under the blood of Jesus Christ. The Apostle John declares in 1 John, chapter 1, verse 7, “The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.”
We may never forget what we did, but if it is under the blood of Christ through repentance and confession, it is covered and put away.