Here’s the scenario … we sin again. We say the wrong thing, we do the wrong thing, we don’t do the right thing, we avoid righteousness and choose selfishness … again. Insert here whatever it is you tend to habitually do wrong.

The next common emotion and feeling is regret, quickly turning to guilt. With on-going sin, there is most often on-going guilt. On-going guilt is best described as guilt-ridden. A constant, foreboding sense of “I can’t believe I did that again,” “How stupid can I be,” “I said I wasn’t going to do that again.”

For Christian men, a huge part of being guilt-ridden is we know we failed God. We disappointed our Heavenly Father and we hate doing that … again.

The simple truth, which is often ironically hard to grasp and accept, is Christ died on the cross as forgiveness of all sin, so we can live in a constant state of forgiveness and freedom. God knew we would consistently choose our way over His, so He made provision for an eternal plan for us to go before Him, admit the sin, ask forgiveness, be granted it again (the unlimited 70 X 7 concept), and then get back up on our feet and walk forward in freedom.

From even just a purely practical standpoint, which do you think God would prefer us to do after having sacrificed His Son to take care of this problem? Wallow in our sin, beat ourselves up, and stay self-focused OR receive forgiveness and walk on in His will to serve Him? To cut to the chase—wallowing is wasting God’s time when He’s already taken care of the debt for us.

Paul covered the extreme attitude of this concept well in Romans 6:1-2 when he said (paraphrasing), “Should we keep on sinning so that grace may abound? Of course not!”

So, why not enact God’s Word, God’s promises, and Christ’s work on the cross, and rather than be guilt-ridden this week, let’s be forgiven-ridden. Why? How? Because in Christ, that is what we are.

Brothers, listen! We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is declared right with God—something the law of Moses could never do. —Acts 13:38-39 NLT


Eric May 21, 2014

What do you do when your spouse won't forgive you the same way God does like this? I have a friend whose wife doesn't seem to allow him to walk in forgiveness. He doesn't seem to sense that he is loved by her unconditionally like this. Every time he tries to walk in a Christ-like manner for a while and then says something wrong or hurtful, she says it peels open the wound once again, all the work he's done to earn back her trust is gone. It seems hopeless and it's a seemingly never-ending cycle. Any advice for me to give to him?

    Robert Noland May 21, 2014

    First, it is so tough in this situation for someone to separate God's unconditional love and a spouse's conditional love. He must learn to walk in the knowledge of being forgiven by Christ, which is the only way he can have the strength and grace to walk with his wife, loving her as Christ loved the church, regardless of her response to him. Second, having seen and dealt with this many times, her fear and insecurity in the marriage can only be moved forward with the help and guidance from a trained Christian counselor. Essentially, in this setting, a counselor becomes a translator between the two of them to help them speak the same language again. Not saying they can't make it any other way, but they are likely stuck in a vicious cycle that only professional help can lead them out of. If he is only as good as his last comment or action and isn't making headway with trust, they need intervening help ASAP.

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