King David - “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
Do you find it hard to confess your sins and faults to others? Most of us do. However, confession is important for us to embrace because not engaging in it brings guilt to our lives. Guilt keeps us stuck in the past. It binds us up, and keeps us from becoming all that the Lord wants us to be. If we want to truly experience and enjoy life, we must let go of our guilt.
To begin releasing our guilt, we should activate a personal moral inventory. We create a personal moral inventory by spending some quality time with ourselves and a pad of paper. In that place, we ask ourselves, “Why do I feel so guilty all the time? What do I regret about my life? What faults seem to be outstanding in my life?” When we engage in this exercise, we should pray and ask the Lord to bring into our minds anything that we consciously or subconsciously feel guilty about. The prophet Jeremiah writes, “Let us examine our ways and test them.” (Lamentations 3:40) King David also writes, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24)
If we seriously pray and ask God to help us with our personal moral inventory, He will help us. The Lord is ready and willing to help us if we will ask Him and then be willing to receive what He has to say. This means that this exercise should be completed in an unhurried manner. In other words, we shouldn’t rush it simply to get it done so we can move on to whatever else we need or want to do. We must also remember that the exercise only helps us if we are brutally honest with ourselves. If we aren’t, our results are going to be skewed. It will be like cheating on our eye exam. Dishonesty may help us get through it, but at the end of the exam, we’ll end up with a prescription that isn’t right for what we need.
We may wonder, “Why do I need to write everything down? Can’t I just think about my answers?” Writing out our answers, especially those we hear from the Lord, forces us to be specific. Writing helps us disentangle our thoughts and helps us condense our answers so we can get to the root of our problems. Writing out our answers helps us take them seriously and helps us move forward with addressing and overcoming the guilt in our lives.
Followup Activity - If you haven’t yet begun a personal moral inventory, take time to do so today. If you completed a personal moral inventory earlier in this series, prayerfully read through your answers, editing your responses. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, lead them to do the same.
Prayer for Today - Lord, search me and know my heart. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.