Addressing Feelings: Guilty or Not Guilty?

guilty

In a court of law after all deliberations are made the judge, after bringing silence and asking the one in question to stand pronounces a sentence of either guilty or not guilty. This decision, however, is not made lightly, especially in criminal cases. First, a jury of peers is chosen who listen intently to what is said by each and every person who takes the stand, whether for or against the defendant. Two of my favorite television shows was Perry Mason in the sixties and Matlock in the eighties. I would watch intently from beginning to end trying to discover who committed the crime or if the person accused was actually the guilty party. Because these shows were fiction Mr. Mason and Mr. Matlock usually won the case by proving without a shadow of doubt, their clients innocent of the crimes in question, which was usually murder. There were those few instances when their clients were in fact guilty and found innocent as a result of these skillful lawyers. However, these decisions were never made lightly or without the intervention of a jury.

In life we too are placed in positions of guilt as a result of situations, most times self inflicted that we find ourselves in. Prior to repentance salvation and sometimes even after, we live in a state of constant sinning as a result of our sin nature. We often find ourselves in a whirlwind until we finally come to the end of ourselves and surrender to God. The problem is, although God says He forgives us and declares He will remember our sins no more (Hebrews 8:12), our memory banks never run dry of things that we have done that have the power to cripple our anointing. Satan has a plan to steal kill and destroy us (John 10:10) and he will not concede just because we decide to accept Christ. He intentionally goes after us, using past and sometimes present sins to declare us guilty. We find ourselves second guessing God and wondering how He could possibly forgive some of the awful things we have done. We become our own judge and jury who pronounce guilt on every count. We also have people in our lives used by the enemy to remind us daily about who we once were and the guilt becomes stifling at times.

Consider Simon Peter, one of Jesus’ closest disciples. He had a ring side seat for Jesus’ earthly ministry. He witnessed most of the miracles and as a result of his faith was declared to be the rock on which the church would be built. Prior to this declaration coming to pass however, Peter was told by Jesus that he would deny Him three times. In Luke 22:31-53 Jesus made it absolutely clear that Peter would deny Him three times and in verses 54-61 this prediction comes to pass. I can only imagine the guilt that Peter must have felt when he realized what he had done. The enemy had him right where he wanted him guilty as charged. However, Peter’s repentance for his sins comes in Luke 22:62 where scripture declares, “And he went out and wept bitterly [deeply grieved and distressed]”. Peter went on to be the rock on which it was predicted the church would be built, in the book of Acts.

There is an anointing for service that God has for each one of us in spite of our sins and imperfections. We are called chosen and royal in 1 Peter 2:9 and we must embrace our anointing. This can only occur when we relinquish the guilt placed on us and walk in newness of life. When confronted with the detours and mistakes that render us guilty on all counts, we must face those demons and declare resolutely, not guilty in Jesus name.