Guilty as Charged

The best relationship principles taught by the experts come straight from the relationship values taught by Jesus. Perhaps the most surprising thing is that my relationships, both with God and with others, are most directly affected by unresolved issues inside my heart—you know, that invisible, mysterious, confusing, wonderful part of each of us that enables us to love, laugh, fear, and experience life. It’s the place where relationships are built - and broken. The unresolved issues in your heart will eventually work their way to the surface and seep into your relationships. When I think of my most embarrassing moments and my biggest regrets, more often than not they have something to do with my relationSLIPs. The time to address the slippage is now.

Relational IOU’s brought about by unresolved guilt cost us vulnerability,  authority, and health.

Message Notes

Guilt always says, “I OWE YOU.”

When people are in a “Relational IOU” position because of their poor choices, they:

  • try to buy love or peace,

  • hide from those they owe,

  • lose their moral authority.
    The borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:7

People try to work it off, serve it off, give it off, even pray it off—but nothing other than paying the debt or getting it canceled will provide relief from the relational shame.

Simple confession doesn’t relieve of us our secret shame; in fact, simple confession can be a trap.

The way we often confess is an insult to our Heavenly Father and to the people we have wronged.

The purpose of confession is not “Conscience Relief”—it is change.

God clearly connects confession with repentance, restitution, and restoration.

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!”he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy.But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.For the Son of Mancame to seek and save those who are lost.”
Luke 19:1-10

You cannot resolve your differences with God if you are unwilling to resolve your relationships with the people around you.

So if you are presenting a sacrificeat the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.
Matthew 5:23

People who keep the secret are repeat offenders.
God’s remedy for a cycle of sin and the shame of guilt is open confession.
It’s the first step to freedom.

Bottom Line:

Guilt loses its power when secrets are exposed and confessed.

Next Steps:

  1. Openly ask God to inspect my heart for guilt.

  2. Make direct requests for forgiveness and make restitution as necessary.