â€œI did it again. I know I shouldnâ€™t have but I did anyway. And then it happensâ€¦the remorse. I start to feel so bad. Like God is displeased with me or something. Itâ€™s just the enemy trying to trick me with condemnation. Iâ€™ve read my Bible and I know it says that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. That means I shouldnâ€™t feel bad or disappointed in myself. I should just pretend it never happened.â€?
Have you ever said this to yourself? Maybe not out loud but in your head. You know you kind of carry on this private conversation in your thoughts. Have you ever tried to tell yourself that feeling bad isnâ€™t good? There are many who would like us to believe that but it simply isnâ€™t true. We tend to like to think that our emotions are accidental or evil. The truth is our emotions are gifts from God that provide a great deal of good information to us if we learn how to read them properly.
Letâ€™s consider the emotion of guilt and remorse. Is it evil or perhaps is it extremely pure? Itâ€™s easy to want to turn our back on that emotion because it is pointing out something in us that is less than it ought to be. Nobody like to hear that, do they? But who is the better friend, the one who reveals your weaknesses to you so that you can be better or the one who remains silent? Proverbs gives us the answer.
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. – Proverbs 27:5-6 ESV
Can you see what the author is saying? There is no such thing as hidden love, for love that is hidden is not love at all. Love is an act that sometimes must come as a faithful wound from open rebuke. That guilt and remorse you are feeling is an open rebuke from a faithful friend who sticks closer than a brother. Perhaps even more like a Father. Consider what it has to say in the book of Hebrews.
And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” – Hebrews 12:5-6 ESV
Sometimes feeling bad is great. It not only means your Father in heaven cares enough to correct you but also that you care enough to feel that correction. Donâ€™t act like itâ€™s some small thing you are feeling but in fact celebrate that the Lord who loves you is guiding you. Isnâ€™t it strange that feeling bad could be so good?