There is a tremendous joy in being forgiven – in being guilt-free, shame-free and have no self-condemnation. In order to experience joy of Lord in its fullness, we need to practice living in consciousness of divine forgiveness.
“The kingdom of God is… righteousness and peace and joy in Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).
I would encourage you to treat guilt as your worst enemy. It won’t help you to become a better person, no matter what some people say about it. Even if it may motivate you to improve yourself, it will ruin your self-esteem in a process. God doesn’t need guilt to correct you, He has a better way. Every message that is filled with guilt, of makes you feel guilty, is not inspired by God, and you don’t need to listen to it. Guilt paralyses, and God does not want to see you paralyzed. He is saying to you:
“Rejoice, for your sins are forgiven!” “Rise up and walk in newness of life!”
When a prodigal son came back to himself and returned to his father, filled with guilt and shame, father (who is symbol of God) didn’t want to listen to his apologies. He rejoiced over his child’s return and invited all people in his household to share this joy. He wanted son to be confident that he is loved and accepted, as if he never left home!
“Bring fatted cow here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry” (Luke 15:24).
“It was right that we should make merry and be glad” (Luke 15:32).
The lesson of this parable is that God is more willing to forgive us that we are willing to accept His forgiveness.
Recently I’ve seen a discussion about “an unforgivable sin”, one that Jesus mentioned in Matthew 12:31-32. Different people expressed different opinions of what can it be, not agreeing with each other. But I think those who really understand nature of God and our relationships with Him, will easy find correct answer.