Then Joshua said to Achan,
“My Son, give glory to the Lord,
God of Israel and give Him praise.”
Tell me what you have done;
do not hide it from me.”
Achan replied, “It is true!
I have sinned against the Lord, God of Israel.
Achan’s story tells of an occasion of true guilt, but sometimes I struggle with false guilt, and it isn’t always easy to tell the difference and deal with each accordingly.
Nor was it easy to break free from the guilt burden I had grown accustomed to lugging around most of my adult life. How such a thing could be habit forming, I can’t imagine. And yet … it seemed so difficult to let it go! I know that God does not want my heart and life to be burdened down! In Matthew 11:30, Jesus tells us, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
So if you find the weight of guilt biting into your shoulders, it is appropriate to consider the source. Very likely you’re carrying a burden that doesn’t belong on your back at all! When our hearts are troubled or burdened by guilt, we can bring it all before our Father. We can ask Him to shine the light of truth on our guilt, so that we can discern what is true and what is false. In this way, one day at a time, we can be set free from the terrible, life-sapping burden of false guilt.
Investigate my life, O God,
Find out everything about me;
Cross-examine and test me,
get a clear picture of what I’m about;
See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong –
then guide me on the road to eternal life.
PSALM 139:23-24 (THE MESSAGE)
On the journey with you,