FALSE GUILT AND UNNEEDED SACRIFICE
I think when we get to a certain level of maturity in our Christian faith, God’s prompts are pretty obvious.
When we’re young Christians, we often have an over-developed conscience and hold ourselves to a standard that is far harsher than the standards God holds us to. We’re big into “sacrificing” for God because we haven’t learned that God desires our obedience way before any self-imposed sacrifice we might think is a good idea. Of course, there may come a time when God does require a sacrifice from us but when he does, it really won’t seem like one.
Oswald Chambers says it this way, “The sense of sacrifice appeals readily to a young Christian.”
Because of my childhood, history, I have a natural inclination to feel more guilty about things than I should. My early Christian experience was thus burdened with what I now call “false guilt”. And the interesting conundrum about that is we become so focused on what we think is a sin, we ignore the ones that are!
Are we grow in Christ and practice the spiritual disciplines of prayer, Bible study, tithing, silence and solitude, and sometimes fasting, we learn to distinguish between the guilt that is truly ours to confess, and that which is not.
For myself, I pretty much recognize my Father’s voice and know when I’ve stepped outside his will.
HOW GOD SPEAKS TO ME
Are you asking, “How?”
For me, it’s just an uncomfortable, persistent kind of pinprick in my heart that something is not right. Sure, I get it wrong sometimes, but I always know to at least address that little nagging feeling, and check it out.
Sometimes, I have resorted to some old habits. But if something has been brought to my mind, I assume it’s God’s Spirit working in me. I sense that God has detected something some small thing that needs to be addressed. It’s either something I need to give up or at least change, or it’s something I need to do.
I think feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit is a good thing. First of all, it keeps me on track. Secondly, it reminds me just how much God loves me.
So if you have a nagging feeling today that something isn’t right, there’s a good chance God is speaking to you. And the wonderful part about that is, he’s right there ready to forgive and to help you move on. No extended guilt feelings required, just a change of action.
God bless and I hope you have a good day.