Do not feed guilt

You Are Not Your Wrongs

Have you ever done something that weighed you down with guilt for ages? Do you constantly feel a disparity between your current state and who you know in your heart that you are? Or, do you confess daily that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, but some of your actions are presently nothing befitting of God’s righteousness?

Neither did Peter’s actions.

But let me explain.

Jesus Doesn’t Identify You by Your Wrongs.

Remember when Jesus asked His disciples to identify Him?

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

Note that scriptures never recorded that other disciples gave any reply. Only Peter did.

Afterward, Jesus gave Peter a response that would have automatically made most Christians in our generation open a church and attach an egotistical title to their names.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar–Jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Matt 16:16-17 KJV

At the point of this response, do you not think Jesus already knew that Peter would deny Him and get back to fishing right after His death, as though they didn’t spend about three years together going from city to city? Of course, Jesus did. But He never once called Peter a ‘backstabber,’ ‘an unfaithful friend.’

Instead, Jesus told Peter,

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matt 16:18-19 KJV

Did you see that?

That’s something to rejoice about!!

Even after Jesus rose, He never reprimanded Peter for abandoning Him like the naive disciple did. Instead, when Jesus was to send words to His disciples upon resurrection, He said,

But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

Mark 16:7 KJV

…and Peter…

Despite his misbehavior, Peter still retained his place in the Saviour’s heart. Jesus did not say, ‘go tell that fickle, fearful disciple of mine that I’ll see him in Galilee so he can explain himself to me.’ Our Saviour did not give Peter an identity from his wrong. No. He still saw Peter in the light of who God ordained him to be.

Don’t Feed Guilt with a False Identity.

And this is not to say it is okay to go about doing things unworthy of your calling as a child of God. I’m not encouraging you to lead a sinful, unbridled life. Neither am I lending you an excuse to constantly break off the constraints of a Spirit-filled life to satisfy the desires of your flesh.

But if and when wrongs happen, leave them where they are – as in the past. If you’ve ever acted in ways that do not seem like the person you confess to be, don’t worry. Keep confessing your true identity in Christ, and leave more than enough room for God’s Spirit to do His work in you. God loves seasons. That’s why He sent our Redeemer as a baby, not a grown man. So He’ll be patient with you. Do not feed guild with false identities.

Fortunately, staying with confessions is usually not a problem for most people, especially believers. The setback usually arises when you cannot dissociate your identity from your wrongs. So, the guilt of a past wrong sticks firmer and longer when you’ve called yourself a name from that situation. You’ve tagged yourself a liar, an unfaithful wretch, and an irresponsible rascal, so the guilt doesn’t go because you’re now joined with that sin.

Peter wept after denying Jesus. But we don’t see scriptures telling us he had to resign from being a disciple because an unfaithful traitor like him couldn’t speak for our Lord. Instead, Peter was the first to defend the gospel when people started to mock them on the day of Pentecost. Trust me, if Peter had culled an identity from what he did to Jesus at that critical time, he would have ended the way Judas did.

Dangers of Naming Yourself from Your Wrongs

  • The devil is known for hindering the manifestation of great light in people. But sometimes, you can limit yourself by tying your identity to a wrong you’ve done in the past. Because you dwell so much on your new (and completely false) identity, you don’t see what you truly are in Christ, you’re unable to accept the grace He extends to you, and you become the accuser of your soul.
  • You can also stifle the work of the Holy Spirit in your life by not being kind and forgiving to yourself for something you did not get right.
  • And can I also break it to you that you despise the cross of Jesus when you derive an identity from your wrongs by failing to forgive yourself?

Embrace God’s Forgiveness

If God, in Christ, has forgiven and blotted out those wrongs, it is not humility but pride and arrogance to hold on to them. If God has given you an identity (His righteousness) in Christ, who are you to swap that identity for a wrong that is not of God’s nature? If God laid down His life for you to be called His own, why would you attach yourself to something not of His?

My dear, God loved you even when you were alienated from Him and were His enemy. Why do you think He would love you less now? When God sees you, He sees the covering of Jesus’s blood. But why do you see filth and unworthiness?

And if you’re yet to accept the life of Christ, it’s not too late to confess Jesus as your Saviour and embrace the love and forgiveness He so lavished on the cross.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:35 KJV

When scriptures say, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (Eph 1:7 KJV), God wasn’t joking. But the question is: will you embrace that forgiveness and show the same to yourself?

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