Demo of Julie's Bible Reference Library

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Guilt of 'I should ...'

Treasured friend,

I've been reading in 1 John devotionally for the last few days (having just completed 1 and 2 Peter), and as I read the words I've memorized in years past, something new came alive for me.

One of the greatest challenges for caregivers, it seems, is guilt. I should be doing more. I should be more kind. I should be more loving. If only I had more patience with my patient. ...

Judging from the content of the early portion of John's first letter to the church, some of the true believers there must have been feeling much the same thing.

Listen to the comfort in these words:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Again, these words he wrote to Christians. To those who were trying hard not to sin. Who were trying to be loving and compassionate sources of light in trying times. Listen to how he continued the thought at the opening of chapter 2:

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1 (ESV)

Such a beautiful thought -- and a comfort. Walk in the light of God's love, John tells us. Live the way Christ did. But don't worry that you don't measure up to His perfection. You won't. He said you couldn't. Do what you can, in His strength, then leave the rest up to Him. Confess where you fail, and then let His sacrifice cover your failure. Once you're forgiven, you're free to move on in love and light once again.

I checked in with my Advocate this morning, confessed my failures, and experienced His cleansing once again.

Tired and disappointed caregiver, I pray the Word will lead you to do the same today. For there is no guilt once Christ has offered cleansing and forgiveness.


Blessings and prayers,

Julie

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