Guilt can be crippling for the most devout believer. It has its purpose in helping us realize our mistakes and repent, but the enemy can also use guilt to block us from the light. The deceiver can convince us that we’ll never move past the wrong we have done, that there is no hope for us when the opposite is true: Our sins have been paid for by Christ.
When our sins have been paid for, what should our response be? Wallowing in self-pity won’t help you grow spiritually. We should respond by giving thanks and changing to live Christ-Like lives.
Here are some ways to cope with guilt and not let it stunt your spiritual growth.
Talk to Somebody
Find a family member or friend and tell them what you did that is tormenting you. They should be able to support you, praying for you to be set free of the unnecessary guilt and remember that you’ve been redeemed. They can also help you see more clearly whether something in the situation still needs addressing.
Turn Guilt Into Energy
Guilt can be used as a motivator to go into the world and serve others. When guilt becomes the drive to volunteer at a soup kitchen or help out at church, you might find it is egging you forward to meet Christ in new ways. Staying at home thinking about what you have done won’t bring forth fruit. Accept that we are all sinners and help others, being the hands and face of Christ.
Do Something Nice
If your guilt is over something you did to someone else, you might feel better after doing a random act of kindness for them. Show up with a present or buy them a pizza and talk it over. As the two of you talk, you might find the guilt vanishing at last.
Guilt is not a bad thing of itself. It can propel us forward to seek holier lives. As long as you don’t forget that Jesus has already forgiven you, use the guilt to become a better person.