Are you one of those people who can’t help but place themselves in the hero’s shoes? Think what they think? Feel what they feel? That’s me…totally…which is probably why I filter what I watch. (Some shoes just don’t belong on my feet!)
Anyway, while I was in “Ben Thomas’s” shoes, I couldn’t help thinking how motivational guilt can sometimes be. It makes you want to right wrongs, apologize, and, maybe more importantly, it makes you plan–if you’re “Ben Thomas”–for the future, because guilt is a wonderful teacher: it teaches you that your decisions actually matter, they’re followed by consequences. Even accidents entail responsibility. While you’re carrying around this bag of guilt on your shoulder, the weight reminds you that more careless or bad decisions only lead to more grief, more hurt, and more remorse.
Here’s the point. 2 Corinthians 7:10 adds another important twist. It reminds us that guilt and sorrow are ultimately issues that have to be dealt with between the guilty (= us) and God, between the sorrowful and God. Ultimately, when guilt is dealt with properly, it leads to repentance (which means change) and salvation. Once this point is reached, whatever happened before is off the docket. Without guilt, having been forgiven, you’re free to love, free to make right, free to live.