This is the way we know that we belong to the way of truth.

When our hearts make us feel guilty, we can still have peace before God.

God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

My dear friends, if our hearts do not make us feel guilty,

we can come without fear into God’s presence.

And God gives us what we ask for

because we obey God’s commands

and do what pleases him.

1 John 3:20-22 NCV

I don’t know about you, but some days, my inner judge and jury work overtime.  I think back on old versions of myself and dredge up things I’ve asked God to forgive long ago. I manage to forget that He already wiped the slate clean, back when I asked forgiveness the first twenty or thirty years in a row.

Sometimes I wonder why I keep dredging up things, He kindly forgave and forgot and sent away from both of us. What’s with me, that I gather up the nuggets of guilt that are sometimes real and that are sometimes imagined?  I put those nuggets in a sack, then a bigger sack, because I’m so good at this guilt thing, and then I find a rope and haul it around behind me.

Why, there’s hardly a topic that I can’t muster up the guilt gene that seems to be part of my DNA. I’m guilty of sins of commission, and sins of omission, and of the things I missed when I didn’t love enough or trust enough or give enough.

That list goes on and on until I’m dizzy.  Finally, when I’m done going through my list that can make me feel guilty simply for being born, Jesus puts up his hand.

“Enough! Put your hand in my wounds, but don’t keep wounding me,” He says.  “I forgive you and I didn’t make you the judge or the jury because that’s MY job!”

Whew!  It’s quiet now.  I’m relieved.  The big old bag of guilt is gone.  There’s a gentle breeze, a quiet brook and a feeling of peace again.

If you are wandering around today, carrying, dragging, shoving that huge bag of guilt around with you, then I say, stop now and give it to the only one who is willing to free you of its weight.  Give it to the One who has loved you from the beginning and will never leave you.

Lighten up!  It’s good for you.  Remember how loved you are today.

Don’t hang on to the worry

of being your own judge and jury!