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We should avoid those downhill guilt trips and get on the right road to repentance.

When our son, John, was about ten years old, he came to me one day and asked, "Daddy, how come I never repent until after I sin?"

I laugh now when I think about his question. But at the time, I gave it serious thought because the more I thought about it, the more I began to see an alarming pattern in the lives of many Christians. You see, what John was really saying to me that day was, "Daddy, I don't ever seem to confess my sins until I start feeling really bad about them - and I don't understand why that is, because I know it shouldn't be that way."

As I took a good look around me, I saw far too many adult believers in the same dilemma. I saw Christians living under a constant weight of guilt and condemnation. It seemed they were continually "dealing" with sin...confessing and repenting...repenting and confessing. They'd tell God, and everyone else, how unworthy they were, and how they were just an old sinner saved by grace.

Well, not much has changed. I see a lot of guilt-ridden believers in the Church today. The problem is, they've never learned how to repent and get free from sin, which is the root of all their feelings of guilt and condemnation in the first place.

Now, I realize you might be thinking, "What more could there be to repenting, Brother Copeland? You just tell God you're sorry and go on, right?" Not exactly.

If you and I are to rid ourselves of the heaviness of guilt that can often weigh on our minds and spirits due to sin we've committed, then there are certain biblical steps we must take to effectively dethrone sin from our lives, even after we've made Jesus our Lord. If we follow these steps, they will keep us off the devil's guilt trips and on the road of God's righteousness for our lives.

We must acknowledge any sin we might commit. When the Spirit of God convicts us, we need to receive correction and call that sin what it is - sin!

Have you ever noticed how we tend to judge ourselves by our good intentions, yet judge other people by what they do? We're tougher on others than we are on ourselves.

Oftentimes, when it comes to judging our own behavior, we'll look at something we're doing that we know in our hearts is wrong and we'll just smooth it over a little bit by calling it a "problem."

Either we sin, or we don't. It's that simple. So, we have to get brutally honest with ourselves. We have to confront ourselves, because if we don't, then we will begin excusing our behavior in one way or another and never get rid of it.

Now, another aspect of acknowledging sin for what it is, is to recognize that it has its wages. We need to be aware that sin costs us. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death." In The Amplified Bible it reads, "For the wages which sin pays is death."

In the business world, when someone expends their time, effort, labor and thought toward a particular task, they exchange their work for wages. They work, expecting some sort of payment in return. Well, the same applies to sin. When we expend our time, effort, labor and thought toward a particular sin, it immediately begins producing death in us. Once we're "on the clock," and time starts ticking away, each move of the second hand is another step toward death. That's our wages.

So, first, you and I must acknowledge sin as sin, and realize its end result, which is death. Once we do, we're well on our way to getting rid of sin - and its wages - and becoming guilt-free.

One of the lessons I've learned is to never waste time bawling and squalling and rolling around in feelings of guilt and condemnation. In the first place, that's not what God is after. He's already satisfied because our righteousness and our cleansing from sin have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus. God's righteousness has become our righteousness.

I also learned that, like anything else in the kingdom of God, you and I must use our faith. We must repent by faith, not by our feelings.

Excerpt permission granted by
Eagle Mountain International Church, Inc.
aka:  Kenneth Copeland Ministries

Author Biography

Kenneth Copeland
Web site: Kenneth Copeland Ministries
For the last 50 years Kenneth and Gloria Copeland have been passionately teaching Christians all over the world how to apply the principles of faith found in God’s WORD to their lives.

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