“So I make it a point to celebrate and publicly acknowledge the birthdays of all of our church staff. I want to make sure they know they are loved and appreciated and the people in this church are praying for them.”
The Pastor flashed a broad grin as he raised his hand in the direction of the two staff members for whom he had just announced their birthdays.
“Yeah!” he went on. “And if anyone wants to take them to lunch, don’t hesitate!” A wicked smile emerged on his facade. “In fact, I don’t think anyone has ever offered to take me to lunch on my birthday!”
The congregation chuckled as the Pastor issued a mock-serious stare. “Did you like my drive-by guilt?”
We all laughed but there was a gnawing truth that the Pastor was correct. At the heart of many jibes and ribbing is a kernel of truth. A drive-by guilt is simply a passing emotional wince and can be simply addressed by inviting the Pastor to lunch. Other feelings of guilt may not so easily be resolved. Broken relationships, fractured business agreements, spiteful aspersions-all may linger for years and sometimes are never resolved.
Guilt is not bad, it may motivate us to restore broken relationships and seek forgiveness with those whom we have hurt. Psychologists and other pundits claim that we can effectively deal with our feelings of guilt, but if so, why do so many live with these burdens? When there is no solution or no remedy, we can become disheartened, despondent, even giving up. What hope is there in this life?
…how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.
Hebrews 9:14 (ESV)
Jesus Christ is the only hope we have. Jesus takes all of our guilt, drive-by and complete train wrecks, and nails it to the Cross. It is the same Cross to which He was nailed, tortured and died. Our guilt and our sins placed Him there. God raised Him from the dead showing the way for salvation and eternal life for all those who confess and repent of their sins and place their trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.