10 Ways To Recognize False Guilt
And Stop Condemming Yourself
This article the top 10 ways to recognize false guilt is an introduction to "Matters of the Heart," our free eCourse for spiritual growth and emotional transformation. The 24 Main Healing Lessons from the course can be found in the downloads section in PDF and MP3 formats. They are also available in our Store as an ebook, a 176 page workbook and as CD and DVD sets of 24, 1/2 hour teachings.
Shining a Light on a Dark Subject
Truth is the wind in our sails of our life in Christ. Truth is the light that shows us the next right step to take, the beacon that guides us safely home. No one who knows Jesus wants to walk in darkness. Jesus is the light of the world! His ways are graceful and liberating. However, we all live in the half light of our own minds, trying as hard as we can to make sense of things, to understand what just went wrong and to figure out the right way to go. Into this potential for confusion the enemy loves to spread his darkness with lies intended to make us feel guilty, condemned, and robbed of inner peace.
The Holy Spirit helps us by "convicting" us of wrong steps and "convincing" us of the right ones. Unfortunately, the "Accuser of the brethren" is relentless at heaping condemnation on us when we get it wrong. Both of them sound like our own thoughts speaking within us. How can you tell the difference between conviction by the Holy Spirit and condemnation by the enemy?
Understanding these 10 contrasts will give you clarity and freedom! Study these 10 ways to recognize false guilt:
1. Conviction shows us the problem, separates us from it and shows us the way out--all the while letting us know that we are loved and accepted anyway. Condemnation binds us to the problem, makes no separation between us and the sin and shows us no way out--all the while threatening us with judgment and displeasure. It is vital that we learn to discern the difference!
2. Conviction by the Holy Spirit quietly points to true guilt. The enemy, however, loves to heap on false guilt--seeking to make us feel condemned even when we have done nothing wrong. Not only that, but even in situations of true guilt where there is no question in our minds that we have done wrong, the Accuser dumps loads of fear, guilt and shame on us in an effort to make the whole process of repentance seem ugly and distasteful and to make God seem like an enemy.
3. The Holy Spirit knows that grace exists. He is the "Remembrancer" who loves to help us remember who Jesus is and what He has done for us. The enemy, on the other hand, whispers that no grace exists--certainly not for these offenses. Don't listen to him!
4. Conviction leads to contrition. You become sorry that you sinned and that you hurt others through your selfishness. This promotes spiritual health and it always leads to change. Condemnation, on the other hand, leads to feeling worthless. It wants you to see yourself as a "sorry sinner." It keeps you stuck in an unhealthy cycle of guilt and self-hatred.
5. The Holy Spirit targets your sin. He speaks to you as a friend and gently says, "That was wrong." The enemy attacks your person. He treats you as an enemy and continually accuses that "You are bad."
6. The Holy Spirit illuminates your path by explaining, reasoning and correcting. The enemy seeks to darken your understanding with accusing thoughts so that you cannot find your path.
7. The purpose of conviction by the Holy Spirit is to correct and guide you. He wants you to learn and grow. You feel hopeful about your future and your spiritual life. The enemy uses condemnation to reprimand you and to get you feeling discouraged and hopeless. He wants you to quit.
8. The Holy Spirit turns on the lights. A specific wrong is always clarified. This brings repentance. On the other hand, the enemy cloaks all he does in darkness. A fog of general wrongness sinks in. This spreads confusion.
9. Conviction feels light and right. You may not be ready to repent, but you are already agreeing with the truth the Holy Spirit is showing you. Condemnation feels heavy and wrong. You may be willing to confess to anything, but you still can't get free.
10. Repenting of true sins brings restoration and freedom from true guilt. We get free by confessing the sin and by receiving God's mercy. Resisting the accusation of false guilt produces freedom from condemnation. We get free by confessing the truth and by resisting the devil whenever we feel falsely accused.
Do you see the difference? That's discernment! Condemnation is the way of the world and it's deadly. Conviction is the way of the Lord.
True conviction restores inner peace
and powers up our life in Christ!
Interested in Going Deeper?
Consider taking our free eCourse for Healing. We have designed a complete series for personal transformation, "Matters of the Heart," to help Christians gain emotional freedom and inner healing. In all there are 24 Main Healing Lessons and 24 Head to Heart Guides to help you bring your heart to God and receive His Great Heart for you in return!