Overcoming guilt can be an ongoing battle if we don’t resolve its root cause. I can feel guilty for several reasons, and what I did may have happened or been years ago. I believe if we are honest, we all have felt guilty at some point.
A person I went to high school with was in a careless accident resulting in the death of another person. The guilt of that accident seemed to pull him down like a boat anchor. Perhaps an indiscretion, a thoughtless word, or a mistake in life is weighing you down with guilt. The question is, how do we respond to guilt to move forward positively?
Joseph’s Brothers Felt the Guilt of Their Sin
Joseph’s brothers hated him and sold him into slavery. They felt the weight of this guilt for years. Genesis 50:14 After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said. 
It has been many years since Joseph’s brothers sold their brother into slavery, but they still feel guilty. Joseph had forgiven them years before, but they still felt guilty. Had they asked the Lord to forgive them? The Bible does not say. Sometimes we need to hear the Lord’s words of forgiveness several times before we believe it is true. You may need to listen to those words today. 1 John1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
How did people in the Bible deal with their guilt? After eating the forbidden truth, Adam and Eve hid from God. Moses realized God would not allow him to enter the promised land and humbly accepted God’s verdict. Peter wept bitterly for denying Jesus and was later restored by the Lord. The Lord does not eliminate our guilt experience but uses it to help us move forward in faith.
True guilt convicts me of the sin I committed. In addition, guilt urges me to turn away from my sinful behavior. As we listen to the Lord, He uses guilt to lead us to repentance. Repentance is turning away from our sins and turning toward God. Ultimately, the Lord always wants to use guilt to turn us to Him. The Lord’s greatest desire is to forgive us as we humbly come to him with our burden of sin.
Today if you are feeling the weight of guilt, take your burden to the cross of Jesus. He is waiting to accept your burden and forgive you. Psalm 103:12 He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.  To hear more about overcoming guilt, listen here: