“For I do not do the good I want to do … “ Romans 7:19
Religious guilt is like a tooth ache that has no cure. There are different types of guilt. Most guilt is good in the sense that it is motivated and empowered by the conviction of the Holy Spirit. It is resolvable. It leads us to repentance, change and ultimately spiritual life. Jesus’ offer of forgiveness and the cleansing from all unrighteousness through the confession of our sins is a hope-filled promise. (1 John 1:9)
What I have chosen to call religious guilt is not as easily resolved. It is a guilt that masquerades as a call to holiness and righteousness but in reality is a lure to religious bondage and the seeking of righteousness by works rather than by faith. This type of guilt is a hard task master. Rather than offering hope it enslaves people in frustration and discouragement.
Religious guilt is unique in that it typically stalks people who love God and want to please Him. It is a guilt that is best categorized as relating to sins of omission rather than sins of commission. Sins of omission are failing to do those things that one can and ought to do