Week 11 — Freedom from Guilt
"Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me." —Psalm 51:4
"Return, O Israel, to the Lord, your God; you have collapsed through your guilt." —Hos 14:2
Abba: Child, where did you get the idea that I am so mean? You go to church as if you're being sentenced to prison. Guilt has warped your vision of Me.
Child: I thought You and others caused my guilt.
Confess your sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
"As long as I would not speak, my bones wasted away with my groaning all the day, for day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to You, my guilt I covered not." —Ps 32:3-5
Abba: Child, you feel guilty because you are guilty. The cause of most guilt is sin. Quit rationalizing and postponing your Confession. If you don't hurry, you'll build your life around your guilt.
Child: Father, I know You're right. I refuse to go on like this. I don't have to live feeling this way. Jesus' blood can cleanse me, and I can defeat Satan (Rv 12:11).
Confess that you're not going to feel "dirty" anymore.
"I will break away and return to my father, and say to him, 'Father, I have sinned against God and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son. Treat me like one of your hired hands.' " —Lk 15:18-19
Abba: Child, don't be down on yourself. You're My child, and you're not a hired hand. I know the devil accuses you day and night (Rv 12:10), but I encourage you day and night. Stop for a minute. Rest in My love (Jn 15:10).
Child: I have called You "Father" for years. But now for the first time it seems natural. I feel new and clean and loved.
Confess the power of God (Ps 46:11).
"Hence, declare your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may find healing." —Jas 5:16
Abba: Child, guilt still lingers like polluted air in your life. Confess your sins to a priest. You think he will be horrified, but he won't. You're not a monster. You're My beautiful child.
Child: Abba, You have forgiven, healed, and freed me from more than I've ever dreamed possible. Yet, I'm afraid of letting You do more.
Confess what you're afraid to confess.
"I will heal their defection, I will love them freely." —Hos 14:5
Abba: Child, these last few weeks, You've opened up and let Me touch and love you.
Child: Abba, I've been using this book for eleven weeks. I had trouble calling You "Abba" to start with, but now I know personally that You love me. I'm different, I'm freer, I'm almost free. Thank You.
Confess God is love (1 Jn 4:16).
"But the Lord laid upon Him the guilt of us all." —Is 53:6
Abba: Child, see My Son and your elder Brother Jesus. All your guilt was absorbed by Him. It seemed as if He would burst. He screamed: "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" ("My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?") (Mk 15:34) He died and all the guilt of all times was eternally buried with Him.
Child: If it weren't for Jesus...
Confess Jesus Christ as Lord.
"Laying both hands on its head, he shall confess over it all the sinful faults and transgressions of the Israelites, and so put them on the goat's head. He shall then have it led into the desert." —Lv 16:21
Abba: My Son Jesus is the Scapegoat for every human person. Imagine staggering into the desert to battle the devil and carrying the load of guilt from all the murders, abortions, adulteries, wars, beatings, gossiping, impurities, etc. Because He humbled Himself even to death on the cross, His name is exalted above every other name (Phil 2:8-9).
Confess Jesus Christ is Lord to the first person you meet.
Excerpts from Scripture are taken from The New American Bible, copyright 1970 by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C., and are used by permission of the copyright holder. All rights reserved.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, July 13, 1995.
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati, July 25, 1995.
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