A few weeks ago, my wife came home from Church with a new phrase: “unrighteous guilt.” I’ve been thinking about those words often since. This is what I’ve been thinking.
It is a familiar phrase. I have been guilty of unrighteous guilt in the past. Let me tell you what I think that is.
Unrighteous guilt is when you feel guilty when you shouldn’t. It is the guilt you feel because you are not willing to take action to resolve it. It is the kind of guilt you feel long after you have resolved your problem.
Unrighteous guilt is guilt minus faith or hope. It is guilt by disassociation—disassociation from the power of God to forgive, and the power we hold to forgive each other and move on.
Unrighteous guilt is false guilt. True guilt, if I can term it such, is the kind of guilt that nudges you in the right direction, and once you are on your way, it leaves you alone. True guilt is your friend; false, unrighteous guilt is your enemy.
Anything or anyone that keeps you from doing what you know is right is your enemy.
Unrighteous guilt is that nagging feeling after you have taken the necessary steps to resolve the source of your feeling to correct your errors and repent.
Unrighteous guilt chains you to the past. It’s the kind of guilt that tries to keep you from moving forward.
To shuffle off this coil of guilt, we must accept today as a new day and accept our life on that new day as a gift from God. God will not bind us to our old life and past mistakes—only we do that. We can change.
Look up. Pick the new direction you want to go. Start moving. Leave unrighteous guilt on the path behind you. You don’t need it. No one does.
Guilt’s job is to point the way back, not to be a burden.
Today is a great day to say good-bye to that rusty, old feeling.