Why do I feel guilty?

Welcome again to my blog. I am grateful you have taken the time to visit.

These last few weeks we have discussed our secure position before God as believers in Jesus Christ. These are powerful promises! Please review them if you have not read those blogs.

Our research has shown that Christians generally have better wellbeing and less depression than non-Christians. Why then are Christians known for feeling guilty? This week let us discuss the problem and next week we will discuss the solutions.

Teleios conducted 2 surveys: one at a major secular college campus and another in a well instructed evangelical church. Approximately 70% of participants in both surveys felt guilty! Fortunately, the level of guilt was mild.

All the causes of this affliction are not known. Indeed, in the church-based survey of adults the overwhelming reason for guilt was due to a believer thinking their current sin(s) had somehow separated them from God and hurt their relationship with Christ; they felt badly about it! In my experience, it is very common for almost every person I teach to have felt some level of guilt.

Why is this the case? Well we do not know all the causes but below are some potentials:

  • We inflict it on our selves
  • We induce it in each other

Some churches induce it through legalistic regulations. Indeed, one pastor once sheepishly told me it can be good for motivating people!

Why do Christians feel guilty? Our sins are forgiven! Can you name a verse in the Bible that says we should feel guilty? I certainly cannot.

An example I often tell my students is that I have studied Greek, the original language of the Bible, for 25 years. Until recently I did not even know the Greek word for ‘guilt’ despite all my studies! The Bible does just not discuss it!

Of course, because I told the story several times I learned of some examples. However, the few times it’s used is in the New Testament and it is not related to believers’ guilt. We are not to feel guilty!

The problem of guilt can be a big one because it:

  • Teaches a lie about God
  • Robs us of our joy of salvation
  • Captures our emotions in incorrect thinking and takes us away from positive role of the Christian life
  • Minimizes the actions of the church

So, what is the cure? Let’s discuss this next week. Thank you for joining me as always.