Health Topics Devotional

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A Remedy for Guilt

Thursday, November 30, 2023

All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. John 6:37, NASB.

The headline virtually screamed the word “GUILTY.” The photo beneath it could break a heart. It showed a mother and father bidding farewell to their beloved 18-year-old daughter before guards led her away to serve the next 10 years or more in prison for the alleged murder of her newly born infant.

The love and pain mingled in their faces strikes to the heart of anyone who has loved a child-to the heart of anyone who has loved anyone. What true parents have not dreamed dreams and hoped hopes for their children? What parents have not labored and sacrificed to help these hopes come true? College . . . music lessons . . . ball games . . .

Such a scene reminds one that for all of us, when called to stand before God, the righteous Judge, and answer for our lives, the verdict will be guilty! The Bible tells us that “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23).

But in our hurting love for a straying or troubled child another picture comes to mind-a picture of God, our Father, who emptied all heaven on our behalf and spent His most cherished possession to redeem us. God did something for us that the young girl’s parents were unable to do for her. Isaiah 53:5-9 tells how He took our punishment! “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities. . . . We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (NIV).

Our way of dealing with another’s guilt (or supposed guilt) is to throw stones and to separate the troubled person from the very sources and community that might render aid. Someone has referred to it as “shooting our wounded.”

The Lord does not let the guilty go free, but He does offer a solution-a solution that, were it practiced among us as family, friends, community, and church, would restore many a troubled, hurting soul. With heart and arms wide open, He pleads, “Come unto me” (Matt. 11:28). His promise is that He will not cast out any who do so (see John 6:37).

Is there someone who needs your example of God’s love and acceptance?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.