One of the hardest things for people to do is to admit they have been wrong. This is true for government leaders down to ministers of the gospel. Pride gets in the way.
And so, what do we do if someone does come to us and does say, “I have sinned”? First, we may be embarrassed and bow out without saying anything. Then too we may put off the confessor. “Don’t pay any attention to those feelings of guilt,” we’ll say. “They’re not that important. Just because some people think sex outside of marriage is wrong doesn’t make it wrong.”
Another approach is to encourage the confessor to handle the problem on his or her own. “So you’ve sinned. Big deal! Just straighten up. Learn from your mistake. And get on with your life.” Sounds like good advice. But guilt feelings are real. And they are not easily overcome. In fact, leading psychiatrists have begun to encourage us to deal with guilt rather than ignore it.
Our reactions are based on the belief that the Bible’s definitions of sin are outmoded. But we should not ignore the God who created us. You see, just as physical pain is a warning signal regarding physical problems, feelings of guilt signal spiritual problems. They tell us that there is a problem between us and the God who created us. And God knows this. That’s why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world. He is able to cleanse us on the inside and remove those feelings of guilt by granting us forgiveness. And being forgiven is much better than trying to ignore, live down, or live with the burden of guilt.
To help you understand this, click here and listen to a talk called, “I Have Sinned.”