Guilt. We have all experienced it. Not a good feeling. But it does suggest our conscience is in working order, which is a good thing. We hold ourselves to a certain level of expectation when we assess our behavior. When our self-imposed expectations are met, or even exceeded, our self-image is good and we are comfortable in our own skin.
Conversely, when we make poor decisions or have lapses in judgment, we experience negative consequences which can include...well, you know what. Sometimes we can negate it by taking corrective action to try and undo what we have said or done. Apologize and/or make other adjustments.
But that is not always an option. Words, once spoken, cannot be retrieved. History cannot be rewritten, in real life. What is done cannot always be undone.
My issues of guilt usually result from a time when I have somehow failed God or another friend. There are several ways of doing that and, for me, a typical method is by choosing to do, or not do, an action because it is not convenient or agreeable at the moment.
Maybe a certain task or responsibility appears to be tedious or taxing or boring. Boring is not my bag. That scenario tends to lesson my interest in following through.
But, for whatever reason, if I have acted or failed to act, or have acted inappropriately, what remains for me to try to deal with is guilt.
The good news is, I can go to God and ask for His forgiveness and He is eager to give it when I have done all I can to remedy my error and am sorry not for just the consequences but for the mistake. No need for a priest or rabbi or pastor. I can go directly to Jesus myself without an intermediary. Jesus alone can forgive and save. (Mark 2:1-7)
This sounds simple, and it truly is. Still, this is where many people stumble. It requires faith in Jesus. I must believe that He forgives me. I may or may not feel forgiven. Regardless of how I feel, I must believe I am forgiven. Because I am. (John 3:16)
I am not forgiven because of anything I have done to deserve or earn forgiveness. That is impossible. I do not deserve to be forgiven. I am forgiven only because Jesus paid the death sentence I deserve so I can live the life He deserves and live with Him forever.
What a deal. No other religion in the world, that I know of, has such a gracious God as Jesus. I love Him and hope you do too.