When GUILT Gets in the Way

Tom Harding

How do we respond to guilt and shame screaming their accusations in our lives?


Luke 18:9–12

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’


Comparison — the root of self-righteousness


Luke 18:13-14

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God.


Luke 14:11

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”




Mark 5:3–6

This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.



“I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel

I focus on the pain, the only thing that's real”

-- Hurt, Johnny Cash


Mark 5:7-8

He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”


There is a very real evil. 

That evil seeks to harm. 

That evil is powerful, but not as powerful as God.


John 1:4–5

In [Jesus] was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.



Mark 5:11-15

A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs . . .He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs.

The herd . . . rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 4 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.

When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 


“When He shall come with trumpet sound Oh may I then in Him be found

Dressed in his righteousness alone Faultless to stand before the throne”


Mark 5:18-19

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 


Jesus doesn’t flinch in the face of your darkness. 


Nothing can be uncovered about you or me that cannot be covered by the grace of Jesus.


God gave his son


Jesus took our sin


Mark 5:20

“The man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis (ten cities) how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”