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You Should Feel Guilty For Sin

by Gil Sanders
You Should Feel Guilty For Sin

I sometimes watch a TV show called “Highway to Heaven” (1980s) and in one of the episodes, the girl gets confronted by her dad for hiding the fact that she had premarital sex and got pregnant as a result. The dad was quite upset, but did not yell. He said, “Regardless, you’re still my daughter” But because he was still upset, he rashly said bye and left. The girl later cries to her BF, saying, “He made me feel so bad.” And I’m thinking that she *should* feel bad. When you do something wrong, guilt is the proper reaction (Psalm 38:17-18). If you don’t feel guilt, you are close to hell’s bosom. Feeling guilt is a good sign. 

But I am not opposed to comforting her. The proper reaction of a Christian is both sternness against sin, but also love toward someone who is in remorse. The comfort of the world by contrast either says, “It’s okay, it’s not your fault”, “We’re human, we all make mistakes,” or “Don’t worry, you did nothing wrong” – which are all lies straight from the Devil’s mouth. If you care for somebody’s soul, you must not belittle their sin, but it doesn’t mean you cannot mourn with them or hold them.

Guilty Status vs Feeling Guilty

However, human affection is not enough. That guilt will remain upon them if it is not taken away by Christ. What humans tend to do, though, is mistake moving past from feeling guilty as evidence that they are no longer guilty. You can move past the feeling of guilt by distraction, by doing good to “make up for it”, or just letting the feelings go away but NONE of that will change your guilty status. Only Christ can remove that guilty status. This world hates us for affirming sin because it hates guilt. It wants to feel good about the self, when Scripture wants us to know how wretched the old self is in order to turn us to reconciliation through Christ.

The world thinks that our worldview leads to death. When we say, “It is immoral to engage in premarital sex or homosexual activity,” they will angrily say, “You are what’s wrong with the world! You are the reason homosexuals kill themselves!” The wages of sin is death, so unfortunately sin kills, but instead of blaming the sin they want to blame the messenger of truth. Stand your ground, Christians. Do not be deceived by the false love of this world. It may seem accepting, but the wise see through their tolerance of sin as nothing more than hatred for the souls of men.

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