There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus

Last Monday (28th December) during the running of our current “Living With Loss” course at HMP Buckley Hall, we explored a very deep and searching subject, that of guilt and self blame.

This latest session deals with the fact that people often find they cannot forgive themselves and move on from something they did in the past, even though they have acknowledged their guilt. This then also prevents them from being able to accept forgiveness from others and more importantly, forgiveness from God.

As an illustration we use a clip from the film The Mission* during which a slave trader in 18th century Argentina who took his brothers' life, cannot forgive himself even though Spanish law at the time deemed him not guilty, as he killed his brother in a dual. He also begins to feel remorse for his slave trading activities. The film depicts him subjecting himself to a severe and unnecessary penance until he is able, finally to let go of his guilt and begin to move forward again in his life.

There were 11 men taking part in the session and in our discussion afterwards we found that this film clip had struck a chord in their hearts. They were able to personally identify with this phenomenon of guilt, self-blame and inability to forgive oneself. Now this is where we can bring in the gospel message of salvation through grace.

We spoke of the fact that it was necessary for us to take responsibility for our wrong doings and to consciously turn from our wrong ways, but that it was unhealthy for us to dwell upon them to such an extent that we become paralysed with condemnation and self-loathing.

Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God...

Please pray that as we continue with the course God will use it, and that these men will come to see that there is forgiveness and cleansing in Christ. Pray that they may come through to a saving knowledge of Him.

Nick Stirling

* The Mission - Goldcrest films 1986

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Clock icon 02 Dec, 2022

Written by:

Nick Stirling

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