Being a husband, a parent, grandparent, pastor and law enforcement chaplain, I have many opportunities to "get it wrong". Sometimes it is hard when someone doesn't like what I did, or didn't do, or how I did or didn't do it.
Enter guilt. I might not have even been wrong. I just didn't meet their expectations. You can be dead right and still be dead.
But I try to do what is good and right. Ultimately there is just one Judge. I need to let Him be my conscience and my guide. But as a human, it is hard to face criticism. And it is hard, too, to admit when I am wrong.
Maybe you are feeling what I am feeling. Much of our guilt is self-inflicted. Some is shot at us by people we know. Either way, guilt has a way of pinning us to the mat, not letting us get up, and therefore immobilizing our ability to serve and to touch others.
So what do you do when you face a time when you just don't feel like you have anything to offer people? You get up, you look in the mirror of God's Word, and you remember who God is, and who you are in Christ.
Paul said in Romans 8:1, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." That is good news. But Paul went on to say that living in that truth means keeping our minds on the things of God, rather than on the things of the flesh.
Paul's point was that we need to keep Christ first in our lives. Jesus said that if we seek God's kingdom first, and His righteousness - in other words, living to be righteous - all the things of the flesh that we need to live will be given to us. Our focus needs to be Jesus first, and godly living second. There is no third.
Godly living means trusting God for everything. If we are keeping in step with the Spirit, we will listen for His voice and go where He sends us, doing what He has prepared for us to do. Therefore there is no condemnation. You are living for the only One who has the right to condemn you. And He has chosen not to condemn you, but to give you abundant life in Himself.
Godly living also means sharing what you have with others. Especially sharing the truth of Christ's Good News. And remember, whatever you do for God is better than doing nothing. Listen for His voice in your life, and as Jesus told Peter, "Follow Me."
D.L. Moody was criticized for the way he evangelized. His response was, "I like the way I do it better than the way you don't do it."
So get up off the mat, brush yourself off, look in God's mirror and remember that He is the only Judge. Then remember that you are His child. You are not condemned. You have value in His kingdom.
So get up and get out there. "Right" or "Wrong" in people's eyes isn't what is important. There are men, women and children who need to hear that Jesus loves them, too. They need to discover their value in God's kingdom.
Only you can reach the ones that God has given you to reach. So don't be afraid. Trust in the One who goes before you, preparing your way.
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." - Ephesians 2:10
Start walking! And see what He will do through you!