Friday, January 17, 2020

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Truth

Fight guilt with God’s truth
A devotional by Alexis Newlin

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” 
– Romans 8:1 (NIV)

Do you ever beat yourself up or struggle with guilt after making mistakes?

I do.

I’m starting a podcast and it’s all very new to me: working with audio equipment, using the right app for editing and learning about soundproofing.

All of this is way out of my element. I’m a writer, not a podcaster. Then God informed me that I would do this podcast and now I am both.

It’s been quite a learning curve. I mess up a lot.

Today’s blunder involved sound.

Several months ago, I set up an interview with a friend that God selected who has a wonderful story to tell. Grateful that she said yes to this new endeavor of mine, I placed her on my calendar several months out so I would have enough time to prep for her interview.

Finally her interview date arrived. I turned off all fans, dripping water, anything that could mess up my audio quality for this interview. With my equipment set up, sound checks done, I was ready to go.

Then the sound of metal clanking and an engine revving floated through my window.  My landscapers were here and my microphone was picking up every single sound they made. I forgot that my landscapers usually arrive on Thursday mornings around 7 o’clock to do yard work. Therefore, I had to cancel the interview.

My guest was gracious and rescheduled but I felt terrible. How could I forget such an important detail?

Honestly, I am my worst enemy when I make mistakes. (I may have a slight problem with perfectionism.) I am overly hard on myself. I play the mistake over and over again in my head, going over what went wrong and how I failed. I tell myself things like:

“You should know better.”

“You’ve failed.”

“You never get things right.”

“You let everyone down.”

“Why do you always forget the details?”

“You’re a disappointment to God.”

After this conversation with myself, I’m not feeling too great. These lies have weighed me down. The guilt hangs on me like a heavy millstone. I feel myself slipping away from God, too ashamed to be in His presence.

I forget the most important truth found in Romans 8:1: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

Because we are children of God, we’ve gained our freedom from condemnation through Christ’s sacrifice. He put himself on the Cross because He loves us and wanted to take the weight of our sin away. That weight is eternal suffering and separation from God.

When we sin, repent and ask for forgiveness, God out of love forgets it. It’s as if the sin never occurred. So when we choose to continue to bring up that sin or feel guilty about it after receiving God’s forgiveness, we are basically saying that our sin, our mistakes are too big for the Cross.

Nothing is bigger than the Cross.

God knows we’re human. He knows we’re going to mess up. Yet He loves and forgives us anyway.

When you’re feeling guilty or unable to forgive yourself, remember that no condemnation comes from God. God convicts our hearts when we sin, but offers love, forgiveness and ways to change. Any lasting guilt and shame you’re feeling comes from Satan. We have an accuser, an enemy of our soul who seeks to destroy us through false accusations, shame and guilt. When you’re struggling with this, you’re being attacked friend.

When those attacks come against you, fight back with truth. Here are some of my favorites:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” –2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” 
–Psalm 103:12 (NIV)

Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” 
–Hebrews 10:17 (NIV)

When guilt comes, remember: 

You are loved. You are chosen. You are forgiven.

Author Bio:
Alexis is a 36-year-old lover of Jesus, loose leaf tea, roller coasters, writing stories and going on adventures. Originally from Marietta, GA, Alexis now resides in Fresno, CA. 

You can always find Alexis outdoors enjoying a walk in her neighborhood, scoping out the newest food truck, hanging out with friends or planning her next trip.

Her church, The Revival Center, and family mean the world to her. They have supported her through the loss of her mother and her own cancer diagnosis.

Alexis enjoys encouraging others by reminding them not to look at what they see, but to always look to God, who is working in the unseen.

Alexis currently writes for several online ministries and hopes to launch her first podcast – The Brave Podcast – in January 2020.

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