Many Christians walk around perpetually guilty and condemned. This should not be the case. So what do you do about this? I am going to walk you through exactly what to do based on the truth found in God’s Word. Read on and get free of guilt for good.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 ESV
If we know this verse is true why do so many of us struggle with what seems like perpetual guilt? If we know we are no longer condemned, how do we overcome? Our feelings should not control us, and walking around feeling guilty and accused is not a fun or joyful thing to do, and it is not what God wants for us. I believe there are three different reasons a we feel guilt. There could be more I’m not thinking of, but I will share these three. If you think of something else while reading please share with me in the comments.
Reasons we feel guilt:
#1 – Accusation and condemnation from the devil: The devil wants you to walk around accused, condemned, and guilty. He wants you to feel unworthy and incapable of pleasing God and experiencing His love. Ultimately, he wants to destroy you. In my opinion, living with guilt is a terrible thing to do. So what does God have to say about the devil and his accusations?
No weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”
Isaiah 54:17 ESV
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. Revelation 12:10
It is obvious that the devil and his demons accuse and condemn followers of Jesus.
#2 – Conviction/Guilt over sin: When we do something wrong we should feel guilty about it. Why? Guilt is a natural God given emotion that helps us recognize when we’ve sinned so we can correct our behavior and not walk around hurting people. Individuals who do not feel guilt and remorse over their wrongs hurt a lot of people. When you have the Holy Spirit in you he will also guide you and lovingly and let you know when your behavior isn’t right. Side note: if you don’t spend time in the Bible renewing your mind with truth it’s a lot harder to recognize the behaviors that, to the world seem fine, but to God are not. Some sins aren’t as easy to see, yet have the same negative impact as more obvious ones.
#3 – Guilt and shame from pain or trauma: Sometimes we walk around feeling guilt and shame because of unhealed pain or trauma. For example, children who are blamed by their parents for everything that goes wrong might grow up believing everything is their fault. This needs to be identified and healed. If you were abused you might feel false guilt and shame. This also needs to be identified and healed. These are just a few examples, but you get the point.
So how do we determine what we are dealing with and experience freedom? This can be a simple process if your heart is right. I will share what God tells us to do and how this has helped me overcome guilt and experience true freedom. Let’s read the following very important verse in the life of a Christian, a verse that, in my opinion, isn’t taken seriously enough. This is a vital key to freedom.
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV
If we could fully understand the truth of this passage of scripture and live in it I believe so much would change in our lives. First of all, our high priest and savior Jesus sympathizes with our weakness. He cares about our pain and struggles. Deeply. He loves us beyond what we could ever imagine. It is not his will for us to walk around guilty and condemned. Second of all, he wants us to confidently go to his throne of grace expecting to receive mercy, grace, and help with what we are going through. A few verses back we are told “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV).
Listen, God wants you to sit with him and let him know what is in your heart. He will hear you and he will respond. This is the truth. His Word is real and powerful, and when we do what it says supernatural things happen.
Hear me when I say this, as a child of God, a servant of Jesus Christ, you do not have to walk around guilty and condemned. I am going to explain what to do based on these truths as best I can, but then it is your job to do it. I hope and pray you will.
Go to God’s throne of grace, get alone somewhere, sit quietly before God. Let Him know you are coming confidently to His throne of grace because He told you He wants to provide help, and you believe Him. Spend some time praising Him and thanking him for His love and mercy, and then ask Him this question in your own words:
Lord, I feel overwhelmed with guilt right now. Is this conviction from sin in my life? Or is it condemnation and accusation from the enemy? Lord, please reveal any lies or accusations from the devil so I can get rid of them.
Please show me if there is any past pain or trauma contributing to these feelings. Reveal if there is anything I did that displeased you and tell me what I need to do to make it right. This seems simple, but it can be hard to do. It can be scary not knowing what God will reveal. Have courage and God will help you.
-If your guilt is from sin, The Holy Spirit will absolutely make that known to you and He will reveal what you need to repent of and whatever you might need to do to make it right. Confess, repent, receive his forgiveness, and make proper steps to change whatever you might need to change. This will relieve any feelings of guilt you might have. God’s Word is clear on what happens when we confess and repent.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. Proverbs 103:10-14
I have many personal examples I can share on this. Listen, God is so incredibly loving and forgiving. One day I was feeling very distant from God. I hadn’t really wanted to pray or connect with Him for about a week and I was feeling pretty guilty about it. I did not like how I was feeling at all so I went and prayed and asked Him what was going on. He IMMEDIATELY let me know exactly what the problem was and why I was feeling distant and guilty. I had been watching a show that, to me wasn’t too bad, but was not pleasing to the Holy Spirit. This was putting distance between us. He let me know right in that moment that if I kept watching that show I wouldn’t lose my salvation, of course, but I would be giving up some closeness with him temporarily. I have to tell you honestly in that moment I broke down in tears. This was devastating to me. The thought of choosing to watch a show over being closely connected to the Lord broke my heart. I immediately repented and told Him I was not going to continue watching it. I want to make something clear, I am not talking about legalism here. I am talking about our sin causing us to desire being with God less. This is a fact about sin and we have to face it. Our choices truly do determine our closeness and connection with the Holy Spirit.
The beautiful thing, if we choose to ask Him if there is something we are doing that isn’t pleasing to Him that is impacting our connection, He will tell us. Then we get to choose what to do with that. Some people want to focus on God’s grace and downplay sinful behavior, while others are legalistic and walk around both condemning themselves and others. Neither of these are helpful. Walk closely with the Spirit, recognize when you don’t feel as close, ask Him why, let Him lovingly show you, and make it right. Simple as that. When he showed me why I didn’t feel as close the last thing I felt was condemned or accused. He was gentle about it and gave me a choice. Keep this verse in mind here and make your goal to walk in the Spirit. This is where you find freedom from guilt.
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
Galatians 5:16-17 ESV
-If your guilt is false and is coming from the accusations of your very real enemy, God will make this known to you. If He does, the path to victory is clearly laid out for you. Read these verses with me.
“For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,”
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”
Psalm 55:22 ESV
I reject every lie condemning me in Jesus name. (Reject the lies God revealed to you out loud in Jesus name.) I thank you Jesus that because of what you did for me on the cross I am no longer condemned, I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I am covered by your blood. I stand in your righteousness. Thank you God that you will sustain me and you will not allow me to be moved. You are faithful! I cast this burden of guilt and condemnation at your feet Lord and I ask you to take it from me for good and silence every enemy accusing me. In the mighty name of Jesus! I bind, rebuke and cast off every unclean spirit of accusation and condemnation that is coming against me now in Jesus name.
Let me share a recent example of this. Something significant happened (I can’t share details due to confidentiality) and I woke up the next day feeling completely overcome with guilt. I could not quite identify if I had done something wrong. Side note: when the enemy attacks with condemnation and accusation it is hard to put your finger on what you did wrong, it is more an overwhelming and overall feeling of guilt and shame. I made a choice I would not walk around guilty all day so I went to the throne of grace. I asked God to show me if I did something wrong so that I could make it right. I’ll be honest, the feelings of guilt were heavy and hard to bear. God quickly revealed this was a demonic attack and he gave me clear instruction on what I needed to do next. God still speaks and guides his children in the same way he always has. I did exactly what he said. He actually instructed me to call the person involved. I cannot share details, but WOW! What this person said to me came directly from The Lord and every single feeling of guilt was resolved instantaneously. I took a breath of relief and praised God for his love and faithfulness to me. This is the kind of thing that happens when we confidently go to the throne of grace, believing that God’s Word is true, and we choose to obey.
-Sometimes feelings of shame, guilt, and condemnation are a result of past trauma or pain. If you ask, God will reveal it. He might heal your trauma right then and there, or He might want you to get some additional help to heal your brain. For me, I have seen him do both. Needing clinical help for past trauma is no different than needing surgery for a broken leg, and there is no shame in it. God could heal a broken leg miraculously with prayer, or he might lead a person to a surgeon. Either scenario, it is God doing the healing. He chooses which way he will heal. I encourage you to pray and ask God what he wants to do with your trauma and pain. I know he doesn’t want you to live in it unhealed. If He wants you to go to a counselor for help ask him to show you which one. He absolutely will! It is amazing to me how God divinely brings my clients to me and I have seen countless miraculous healings through the techniques I use. If this is how God is leading you, look into accelerated resolution therapy and find a spirit filled therapist trained in it who can help you.
Let’s recap on steps to take to overcome guilt and condemnation:
We get to choose to walk around guilty and condemned, or forgiven and free. God already paid the price, so don’t hold onto these things when He doesn’t want you to.
Ask the Lord, is this from my sin? Or am I being condemned by the enemy? Sit with that question and wait on the Lord for divine revelation. Do not believe every word you hear. Know that if it is your enemy condemning you he will try to speak to you and confuse you. When God reveals sin we need to repent of it is clear, to the point, and there are clear action steps to take. Confess, repent, receive God’s forgiveness, and choose to make the change you need to make. Then thank Him for revealing your sin and forgiving you. Praise Him for his faithfulness and love for you. This will leave you feeling freedom, gratitude, and relief. If what you are dealing with is demonic condemnation you will not feel clarity, you will feel confusion and shame. You will most likely feel like there is nothing you can do to fix it and that these feelings won’t change. Pray: Lord if this is not from you, please take this guilt and shame away and give me peace. I cast this burden of guilt and condemnation at your feet and ask you to sustain me and bring freedom from the lies and emotions I am struggling with right now. Don’t stop praying until the condemnation is gone. If He instructs on something you need to do, obey.
Shift your mind to the truth and thank God for freedom from guilt:
I thank you Father that I am forgiven and free from guilt and shame. I confidently come before your throne of grace like your Word tells me I can and I ask you to please provide mercy and help and take away every feeling of false guilt and condemnation in Jesus name. Please silence the voice of my accusers. I rebuke every enemy speaking lies to me and accusing me in Jesus name. I have overcome you by the blood of the lamb and the word of my testimony and command you to be silent and leave me now in Jesus name. I am covered by the blood of Jesus and stand before God forgiven and cleansed of all sin.
God hears every word you pray. He still speaks and reveals hidden things to his children. His heart is to love you with a perfect and everlasting love. By his love he sustains you and enables you to repent of sin, and to overcome false guilt and condemnation from the devil and his demons. Put these steps into action today and start walking in freedom from guilt.