Burden of Guilt?

I’ve been reading a biography of Australian artist Margaret Olley.

During her early life she became an alcoholic. Eventually she recognised how this was affecting her and she sought help to overcome it.

One of the first people she confided in after seeking help was a church minister.  After telling him of what she was doing he invited her to have a chat about which Olley said:

 “…he started going on about how we are all conceived in sin, it was too much for me. I don’t believe in burdening people with guilt like that.”

Personally I have difficulty in understanding how this could burden anyone with guilt. Knowing that I’m no worse than anyone else – knowing that ALL are conceived in sin would be like a weight of guilt lifted OFF rather than a burden placed upon.

We are all in the same boat. I’m no worse than the next person. I’m no guiltier than anyone else.

Strangely I see that as good news. It means there is no less hope for me than for anyone else.

That’s a wonderful place to begin. Others are no more deserving of God’s favour or mercy than I am. I’m no less deserving than them.

NONE of us deserve it but it’s offered to ALL.

Our unworthiness isn’t the primary issue. More important is God’s mercy and His willingness to free us from the sin that EVERYONE is burdened with prior to experiencing His mercy through faith in Jesus.

If we experience a “burden of guilt” we can deal with it in two contrasting ways. We can resist God, suppress the guilt, cauterising our conscience in the process – or we can acknowledge our guilt and turn to God for the forgiveness and cleansing He has offered.

The only burden we need to shoulder is the choice between our own way and God’s way.