Today’s Scripture: O LORD, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. Psalm 38:1-2

Guilt isn’t all bad. Guilt can be used for good. How do we live life without having guilt paralyze us?

Little Sally and Johnny were at their grandparent’s house. Their grandpa had given Johnny a slingshot, so Johnny went out in the backyard and was practicing with some targets. Everything was going fine until he saw grandma’s pet duck walking along. He pulled back the slingshot, fired the rock, and hit the duck right in the head. The duck fell over dead. He was scared and did not know what to do, so he picked up the duck and hid it in the woodpile.

He turned around to go inside and was horrified to see Sally looking out the window. She had seen the whole thing. Later that evening, after dinner, Grandma said, “Sally, it’s time to help me wash the dishes.”

Sally replied, “Oh, I think Johnny really wants to help you.” Under her breath, she muttered, “Remember the duck.”

Johnny meekly complied, and similar occurrences took place over the next few days. Johnny was overwhelmed with guilt and fear that his actions would be found out. He was literally a slave to Sally. Finally, he broke down and confessed to his grandma what he had done. Grandma said, “Johnny, I know. I was watching out the window that day, and I saw the whole thing.”

Guilt and fear make us slaves. When we are enslaved to that guilt, we cannot operate the way God intended for us to operate. When we are living with guilt, it is possible to feel like we are drowning, just like David in our Scripture passage.

Is it possible to live life guilt-free? I think so. Stay tuned as we discuss this topic over the next several days.

Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.