Guilt From The Past
By Phil Scovell
He cried when he spoke. It wasn't something he wanted to
remember nor talk about. We were there, however, and the Lord had
taken him to that place he had been in his mind so many times before
throughout his adult life. The pain was deep and although, he
reported he had confessed his sin to the Lord hundreds of times, in
fact, just about every time the memory surfaced, it was clear that
guilt he felt was still there and hadn't diminished. If anything, it
Upon walking into the office and taking his seat, we opened with
a word of prayer of guidance and direction and asked the Lord to do
what we could not do.
The second we finished praying, he said, "I know where we are
supposed to go today. Does that happen? I mean, does the Lord
sometimes tell us where to go prior to our prayer session?"
"Sure. Nothing wrong with that."
"Then, I know," he said with finality, "but it isn't where I want
to go. I'm sure, though, because the Lord told me this is where we
would go today."
He began to cry then. It was pretty obvious this memory
generated a tremendous amount of pain for him so there was no sense in
rushing into anything.
When he finally began to speak, his voice was shaky and he found
it hard to speak through his tears. "I was 14 years old at the time,"
he said. "We were on a family trip. My oldest sister was in the
front seat with my mom and mom was driving. My 10 year old sister and
I were in the backseat. I don't understand why I did what I did but
it has been something that has tormented me my entire life. To make a
long story short," the man said, physically shaking, "I molested my
little sister. Fortunately, although I felt her body in various
places, I did so through her clothing. Eventually, probably in order
to get away from me, she ended up laying on the floor of the car. As
I lay on the back seat, I was able to orgasm by pressing myself flat.
The guilt and fear all suddenly rushed into my emotions then. I told
my little sister I was sorry and begged her not to tell mom. She
never did but it didn't make any difference, I was trapped. It
Surfaces when I preach, when I awaken in the morning, when I'm making
love to my wife, when I'm praying, when I'm listening to the Sunday
school teacher, listening to Christian radio, and any other possible
time you can name. I have confessed it over and over and over again
to the Lord but it just won't go away. I even called my sister once
as adults and confessed my sin to her again and asked her to forgive
me. She couldn't hardly remember it, she said, but whatever happened,
she confirmed that she forgave me. It didn't help. Nothing will ever
help," he cried. "I'm just guilty of sin that will never let my guilt
"Is that true, Lord Jesus, nothing will ever help? Are you going
to let him live this way the rest of his life?"
"I heard the Lord say, no," the man said as if the word had been
squeezed from his throat.
"Since you are talking about the memory now, do you see the event
in your thoughts?"
"Yes," he coughed.
"Lord Jesus, would you expand this memory and let my brother see
what you see in this memory that we aren't seeing on our own? What
are the lies common to this memory event?"
Brief silence. "I'll never be free. He's got me now. I'll
never get to be clean and what God wants me to be. He's never going
to let me forget it. I ruined my sister's life. I lied. I sinned
and nobody knows about it." The lies tumbled out like a small child
dumping his bag of marbles. There were dozens and they went
"Lord Jesus? Are all these things true?"
"No. None of them," the man repeated softly, "Jesus said. I
heard His voice. "They are all lies."
"Does the answer feel true to you?"
"Yes. I have no idea why, because nothing about this memory has
ever felt this way before, but I know what I heard Jesus say and it
does feel true.
"What do you want him to do with all these lies then, Lord?"
"He wants me to give them to Him," the man said quietly as the
peace already had begun to flow into the memory.
"Can you do that?"
"Yes," the man said and he prayed out loud and gave them all to
the Lord collectively."
When his short prayer was finished, he felt the difference and
said as much. "There is something I don't understand," he said;
"What's that, brother?"
"Why did I do it. I mean, I had already been a Christian for
several years. I knew better. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I
was raised in a Christian home. Why, why, why did I do it?"
It was clear we didn't get all the lies based upon this statement
of concern the man expressed. "Lord Jesus? What is the truth my
brother needs to know that you want to show him right now? Why did he
do it when he knew better?"
Suddenly the man sat straight up as if he had heard something
spoken which is exactly what had happened in his thoughts. "I don't
believe it," he said with amazement.
"Don't believe what?"
"It can't be that easy but that's the answer I have been seeking
all my life. It's true."
"What is true, brother?"
"I was deceived by the Enemy. That's why I did it. I should
have recognized that before," he said, wonderment in his voice, "but I
never saw it before I heard the Lord say it just now. Wow! I can
Memories never go away. Oh, they may fade, intensify, pale,
sharpen, dissipate, magnify, repress, minimize, oppress, depress, or
eventually dominate our life but they never go away. The Enemy knows
this and if we allow it, he will use memories to entrap us.
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of the Christian life
is deception. We somehow, and for some reason, perhaps because we may
have been taught incorrectly, forget the very most basic element of
sin and sinful conduct and that is deception. I have heard over
40,000 sermons in my life time and I have heard many sermons of being
deceived, encouraged to be on the alert for it, and, of course, the
penalty for it, but I never heard anyone ever admit they had been
deceived. They seemed to take credit, for some reason, for all the
sins they committed. I understand the theological responsibility we
all have but Jesus died for our sins and just to make sure He
finalized it, He resurrected Himself to confirm it.
Over the years, I have heard hundreds of stories of sinful living
being preached from the pulpit, as if it gave the person bragging
rights, until it gotten ridiculous. In many cases, it wasn't
preaching against sin but more like preaching about their sin. I even
was a member of a small church where the pastor mentioned his prior
addiction, so called, to pornography and masturbation so many times in
his preaching, it became right down embarrassing at times.
Somehow, many, if not most, of those with whom I pray, believe
that after they were born again, they have become responsible for all
the sins they have committed. Although this is true theologically
speaking, outside of Christ's redemption, and although most also
believe that Jesus died for those later sins, too, they somehow think
they must carry the guilt of such perpetrated sins. Why do they
believe this? Because the guilt hasn't gone away. They erroneously
believe that if the guilt is still there, they are still guilty. This
is an old trick the Enemy has played since day one. What the Enemy
wants us to misunderstand is that forgiveness is eternal and there
isn't one thing he, the Enemy, can do to change that except, of
course, fool us into thinking, or feeling, that we are guilty. This
he can do very well since he is the master of deception.
Some reading this are saying, "You can't possibly understand. My
situation is much worse."
"Is that true, Lord Jesus? Is their situation worse as far as
you are concerned?"
Maybe you fondled or even raped a little girl. Maybe a little
boy. Maybe the reverse is true and you were the victim. Maybe you
even thought you enjoyed being fondled and the guilt is unbearable.
Now you are trying to carry the guilt of the sin regardless of what
you know theologically. If you were the perpetrator, it is more than
pretty likely you knew better. God has found a way to forgive you.
It is called His Son Jesus Christ.
"But what about the one I hurt?"
"What about the one they hurt, Lord Jesus?" If this is something
recent, the law has been broken, and regardless of the legal
consequences, it is time to face the music. If we are talking about
years since the sin was committed, then it is now that we learn who
Jesus is and who He thinks you are. Are you ready?
Safe Place Fellowship
Mountain Time Zone
End Of Document
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