Daily Devotion

A Guilty Conscience

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.
Many people today feel guilty for one simple reason: they are guilty. The Bible says we are all guilty before a holy God. And all the psychological counseling in the world cannot relieve a person of that guilt. You can pretend it's not there or find someone else to blame for your problems, but the only real and effective way to remove guilt is to get to the root of the problem, which plainly is sin.
There are a lot of people today who have a guilty conscience. That is what Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes stories, discovered. One day he decided to play a joke on 12 of his friends. He sent them all a message that said, "Flee at once. All is discovered." And within 24 hours, all 12 of his friends had left the country. I think that is having a guilty conscience. It was just a joke. Nothing was discovered. But these people felt so guilty about something that they got out as quickly as they could.
Guilt can be good—it can be God's warning system to alert us to a problem. When I am beginning to do something wrong, guilt kicks in. It says, "Stop! Red alert! Don't go any further. This is a bad thing." Guilt is there to remind us we are crossing the line, and we should not go any further.
Do you have a guilty conscience? Maybe God is telling you something. Maybe you should pay attention to your conscience. Then you can be refreshed by the presence of the Lord.

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Jeremiah 31-32; 1 John 4

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