Watching CSI: Crime Scene Investigation last night, I heard some profound words of wisdom on the subject of false guilt. It was yet another “illustration in search of a sermon.” In the episode, “If I had a hammer,” a man who had been in prison for 18 years is trying to win an appeal. His case is based on demonstrating that Catherine Willows had not done a good job of collecting evidence. Det. Jim Brass tells Catherine, “His whole case is based on getting you to doubt yourself. Don’t let him have free rent in your head.”
How often does our Adversary bring up decades old failures and accuse us over and over again? “You’ll never change. Once a loser, always a loser.” How often does he try to get us to doubt ourselves? “Who do you think you are, trying to tell that person how to behave?” How often does he try to convince us to give up and quit? “It won’t do any good. Why bother trying?”
If we have failed, then we need to confess it, seek forgiveness, and move on. If we have already done that, we need to hang a sign outside our conscience that says, “Forgiven.”
Tell the Adversary there is no room for false guilt. Your sin has been forgiven by Jesus Christ.