Sometimes I feel guilty about enjoying life and looking forward to and - Bible Questions and Answers - Prayer Tents


28. Sometimes I feel guilty about enjoying life and looking forward to and be excited about things, I'm not sure why. They are not sinful things yet I feel like if I'm enjoying things then I am not focused enough on Christ. I know this feeling isn't necessarily valid. How do I get myself to not feel guilty about this?
Asked by: Female, Under 19, North America, Christian on July 23, 2021 6:15:00 pm


Hello! Thank you for the excellent question.

I was wondering why you might be feeling guilty, and I started thinking about how some churches I attended focused on sin and the need for continual repentance. Though it is true that we are sinful and that we need to turn away from our sins (and God forgives us each time, 1John 1:9), some churches (perhaps many churches) make sin the center of our faith as opposed to the grace of God. Their corporate prayers and sermons center on how sinful they were throughout the week and need forgiveness. The result leads to Christians feeling guilty all the time because they never measure up. I don't know if this is the case for you.

I would propose a familiar verse: Always be joyful (1Thessalonians 5:16 ). Or My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. (John 10:10 )

How could the Scriptures tell us to be joyful while feeling guilty about our sins? How could Jesus say that He wants to give us a rich and satisfying life while we are filled with guilt and shame? Here is the answer: we are to live free from the effects of sin. We must recognize that we are forgiven and fully live in freedom, walking with God. We can enjoy His presence and the things He guides us to do. There should be no fear or worries.

Let's think about this: where does guilt come from? Genesis 3:10-11 shows that Adam and Eve felt guilty because they were naked (and disobeyed God, see also Romans 5:12). As long as we feel burdened by sin, we will continue to feel guilty. However, when we recognize that we are forgiven because of what Jesus has done, sin does not have power over us (Romans 6:14 , try reading the entire chapter for context).

As Christians, how can we rather always be joyful (a reference to 1Thessalonians 5:16 )? By recognizing that we have a relationship with God again since sin no longer gets in the way. Adam and Eve were separated from God due to sin, but we can be in a close relationship with God again because of the forgiveness that Jesus brought. That separation brought feelings of guilt and shame in the first place, but now we are reunited with God. So then, what do we have to fear? What can be against us that we should feel ashamed? (See Romans 8:31-39) God accepts us just as we are because of what Jesus has done. When we feel guilty, the question is, do we believe in God and the forgiveness that He brought? In other words, it is a question about your faith.

I hope that addresses the concerns you face today. If you have some examples that you cannot shake off, I would be happy to discuss them with you in detail. Feel free to write back. Blessings!

Answered by Dr. Sang Sur

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