|Photo credit: anna gutermuth|
Yeh, I realised that in my 5 Minute Devotions post I'd mentioned that I'd say something about guilt regarding devotions. And I never did. Oops. Oh well, here it is now. :)
I'm sure you know the feeling. You slept in instead of waking up to have a QT. The day was crazy. You told yourself you'd have one at lunch time... after dinner... before bed... And then you crash into bed, and as you're about to drift off to sleep, you realise. You never had a quiet time. And you feel guilty. You let God down. He missed you. You aren't a good Christian. Etc.
Now, that guilty feeling can be good. It reminds you that QTs are important.
But it's also not so great. Because Satan can use it to plague us, and make us feel worth less than God sees us. When we beat ourselves up over missing a QT, that is Satan's work. When we tell ourselves we're not good Christians because we missed it, that's him too. It's all lies. And the wrong sort of guilt.
You see, there are two kinds of guilt. The first is conviction guilt. It's the Holy Spirit using our conscience to tell us that we've erred, and need to repent or act differently. That’s what happens, on a small scale, when we miss a quiet time (at least for not-quite-legitimate reasons). It’s conviction – we shouldn't have brushed it aside. Fair enough. We know we have to act differently. It’s constructive.
Then there’s destructive guilt. That’s when we've been convicted, repented, and determined, with God’s help, to act differently, but we still feel guilty. That’s not right. God says that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9.) Any further guilt is no longer for conviction, but is Satan trying to tear us down. So after being convicted about QTs, we should not continue to feel guilty. If we do, we should pray that God will make His truth clear in our hearts.
Here endeth my not on guilt. *firm nod* :)