From a devotion by Steve Brown about Christians who suffer from false feelings of guilt.
As a pastor, I have performed hundreds of marriage ceremonies. Often newly married people say something like, “I don’t feel married.” And I often reply, “Stay with it. It takes a bit of getting used to. Eventually the truth will sink in.”
Now let’s suppose a newly married couple doesn’t take my advice and their feelings are more real to them than the fact that they’re now married. Let’s suppose, further, that every time they suspect they’re married, they say to themselves, I can’t be married because I don’t feel married. Believe it or not, they are programming their minds in a certain way. I suppose that if they pushed it far enough and often enough, they would never think they were really married. If someone asked them if they were married, they would always reply, “No, we’re not married.” After a while, their feelings would become reality.
That’s what a lot of Christians have done with their feelings of sin. In 1 John 1:9 we read, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” That’s a fact. If you have confessed your sins, you are forgiven. If you don’t feel forgiven, you are doing what our imaginary couple has done. You have simply denied the facts for your feelings. Whenever you feel guilty about something you have confessed, reprogram your mind. Say to yourself, “I have confessed that before God. He is not a liar. He has told me that I’m forgiven; therefore, I am forgiven. Anything other than that fact is a lie and I will treat it like any other lie. I won’t believe it.” Then ask God to give you the grace to treat it as a lie.
Is this a magic formula? Of course not. It’s a part of a process whereby gradually you learn to live your life by the facts and not by emotions. One day you will wake up and say, “I’m free! Praise God Almighty, I’m free!”
Read the whole article here.