By Travis Lauterbach
Have you ever done something wrong and experienced guilt inside of you that felt like you bore a heavy load on your shoulders?
Many people have.
I’d even venture a bet that whether they realize it or not, whether they want to admit it or not- all people have experienced the effects of a guilty conscience.
So, how does one deal with a guilty conscience?
Many people throughout history have sought various means to remedy a guilty conscience.
Some seek to excuse their behavior and in so doing find a way to silence the guilt inside.
Some seek to justify their behavior as a means of calming the guilt inside.
Some seek to ignore their conscience and over time hope to deaden it.
Some seek to “good deed” their way out of a guilty conscience.
The apostle Paul says that the Law of God is written on the heart and the conscience is stirred when we’ve done right or wrong (Romans 2:16).
That sense of right and wrong was given by God, and so trying to find a way to drown out the conscience inside you isn’t going to work in the long run.
King David found this to be his experience, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long” (Psalm 32:3).
Jesus makes an incredible promise, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).
He promises truth that sets a guilty conscience free, truth that lifts up the weight of sin and wrongdoing.
In fact, Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Jesus is the truth that gives rest to sin-burdened consciences.
David, finding his rest in the Lord, declared, “I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,’ and you forgave the iniquity of my sin” (Psalm 32:5).
Travis Lauterbach is the pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church located in the Falcon Ridge Business Park in Mesquite, NV.