After reading the horrendous statistics on abortion; after seeing the images of babies torn apart limb by limb; after realizing the apathy of the church in combating the evil norms of our society; after being awakened to the wickedness of the world around us and the helplessness of our most innocent neighbors, we have a tendency to feel guilty. We feel guilt for not doing enough. We feel guilt for not being a voice for the voiceless. We feel guilt for our blind compliance. We see the need. We see the vast fields ready to harvest but where are the workers? I am the worker. You are the worker and you know it. You have awakened from your slumber and have found yourself surrounded by the things that are your duty as a Christian but that have been left undone. You have heard other Christian brothers and sisters admonishing the church to take a stand and it seems that they are guilting you into action. Some of you will be so offended that you shut out the message. Others will interpret the truth through their past and preconceived ideas and turn away. But a few will take that guilt to heart and leap into action. This last group of people is who I want to write about. Is this a good thing that guilt forced them into action? You may say that, “At least they are doing the right thing.”  Is this enough?

Why do we do what we do? Think about it. As a Christian, what is our motivation? What keeps us going? Is it guilt? Should we use guilt to get Christians to act like Christians? No. Jesus never did and neither should we. Guilt is a heavy burden to bear. It burns the active Christian out. Guilt is what made Judas hang himself. When we use guilt we are tapping into a temporary human emotion. It will run dry eventually. Guilt makes a bitter heart in the end. Guilt is exhausting. Does that sound like the work of the Holy Spirit?

So what is the right motivation? What truly convinces the Christian to do what is right and be obedient to his Maker and Savior? Jesus gave us the answer very clearly but before I delve into that I must make one thing clear. I love to rock the boat of Christianity. I love to challenge the norms and traditions and make people think for themselves. I love to shine a light in the dark corners of the church building and see what has been hiding there. I’m not talking about purposely causing dissension but challenging other true Believers to hold their personal walk to the perfect light of His Word. Often we find our relationship with God to be terribly lacking. That is iron sharpening iron. And I welcome the challenge into my own life. I never want to grow content with mediocre Christianity and neither should any of us. Because of this I have been accused of using guilt to wake up the church. I think that something is missing in this evaluation. We have to remember that there is a difference between GUILTING people BY their sin and EXPOSING their guilt CAUSED by their sin. What I want to do, as an ambassador for Christ, is to show people their need for a relationship with Him and as a result of that relationship, they will naturally act as a Christian. Works will follow when we have a relationship with Christ. When people are faced with their sin and feel guilty about it, sometimes they will lash out at the one that has shown the light on their sin instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to convict them of their sin and repent.

So what did Jesus say about this? Why did the apostles do the work of the Lord? The answer is in Mark 12:28-34. A scribe came to Jesus and asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” That is the question we are asking as well. What becomes our foundation for everything we do as Christians? Jesus answered him and He answer us.

“The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

All other commandments hang on these two commands. We are told to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That doesn’t leave much room for loving anything else other than the things that the Lord loves. That brings us to the second commandment; love your neighbor as thyself. This is the key. Only after we love the Lord will we be able to love others. It is His love through us. When we love the Lord, love for others naturally flows through us. We no longer need guilt to keep us going for Christ. Love goes so much farther than guilt ever could. There will never be an end to the supply of God’s love for He is love. If you are working and serving your Savior out of guilt, it is no wonder you won’t also love the children being murdered by abortion. It makes sense that you wont tell your neighbor about coming judgment and the grace of God. I understand your acceptance of sin in your life. It doesn’t matter to you that you hung Him on the cross because you don’t love Him. The mass genocide in our nation becomes a side issue when you love yourself more than your God and your neighbor. I don’t want you to feel guilty, I want you to see your sin and see the love of God that covers a multitude of sins. The goodness of God should lead us to repentance. When we partake in the love of God it becomes easy to love those around us. We wont have to be prodded and dragged to preach the gospel. We wont have to be convinced that it is our duty to speak out for the victims of abortion. We wont have to be forced to adhere to standards and restrictions but we will want to be rid of anything that hinders our relation with Christ.

Instead of allowing guilt to rule, instead of being angry with those that you feel are using guilt to see results, just love the God that bestowed the greatest love on you. There is enough bickering among the brethren. Let us take the power that God has given to us and proclaim His truth. With God, all things are possible but with men it is impossible. We can’t do anything that will last in our own strength. It must be the work of God. But don’t let that fill you with fear. It is okay to step out in faith. We must wait on the Lord and go wherever He goes but sometimes He is waiting on us to take that step in obedience. We will stumble and fall sometimes but God will never allow us to be utterly cast down. Love is stronger than any weapon made by man. Run the race with love. Stride into the battle with full confidence.

Get rid of the guilt and trust in the perfect love of God.

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Comments
  1. I love this! It is so true. I remember feeling guilt, and irritation with the speakers at an abolitionist conference in Portland… I was tired, I was busy. And I felt I had already been “guilted” into giving enough. Enough was enough, I thought!
    But then the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart as they were talking about Jesus in the womb of Mary, and how Jesus was fully God in 8 cells, in 100 cells… traveling down that fallopian tube. And in that instant I realize that even though I was against abortion, I did not really consider such a small representation of a human to BE a human. Not as much human as I was. I was guilty! I confessed this to God, I humbled myself. And I asked Him to give me His heart on the matter, and help me to see with His eyes, my preborn neighbor.
    That was the turning point for, me of doing something about abortion because I was being prompted by others, or of doing something because God wanted something done. And as His daughter, He began the process in me of enabling my heart to love… to love the weakest of my neighbors, and to love those in the culture that we talk to about sin, truth and hope. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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