True and False Guilt

Nov 30, 2015 1774

And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. … Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies (Romans 8:27,33).

False guilt is one of the unnecessary stresses experienced by many unfortunate Christians. Church groups often have a string of traditional ideas and rules not based on Scripture. Culture often poses as revelation, and as sacred. We would be wise to learn to distinguish between true guilt and false guilt. True guilt results from violation of a plain Bible requirement. False guilt is uncomfortable feelings manifested because of violated tradition or custom.

A Christian is prepared to surrender personal rights in minor areas so as not to unnecessarily offend others. Still, Christians belong to the Lord, and are not to be the slave of any human being or institution. A weak, uneducated conscience can be as great a cause of stress as a seared or silenced one. Such a weak con- science keeps accusing us over trivia that is not really of moral importance.

True guilt is an important warning that something is wrong. False guilt is useless stress created by phony expectations and unscriptural “rules”. Education of the conscience is essential for all of us if we are to avoid unnecessary stress.

Desmond Ford (From “Religion and Stress – 1”)

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