[CF Devotionals] 2012-09-23 - Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide?

The Epistles of John ~ Part 63 ~ 1 John

Introduction

When children are beaten and accused of being wicked, they believe the accusation. From the child's perspective, since the accuser is the parent, the accusation must be true. Children often carry their guilt through the rest of their lives.

When the daughter goes to the mother, telling of the abuse by mom's boyfriend, she may be believed. But then mom tells her that she must have acted in some way to encourage the man's attack. And since the young woman is already feeling dirty and guilty, she accepts that it must be her fault. She may carry a false view of her sexuality through the rest of her life.

Accusations fly in family relationships, and for one reason or another, the target of the accusations accepts them as truthful and struggles with false guilt for many years to come.

The message from the pulpit is that a wife must accept anything her husband requires of her. So the woman in the pew feels guilty because she wants to get out of the house where she is being beaten. She either returns home, out of guilt, to face more abuse, or struggles with guilt for years to come, over her failure to return.

The parents hear that if they obey the Lord in bringing up their children their children will be obedient and will turn out fine. But they have just discovered their son has been using drugs. Obviously, they think, it must be their fault - and they feel guilt. Their guilt will follow their son's messed-up life for the foreseeable future.

Those in the pew are told how if they were being obedient to the Lord, they should be willing to give of their money even if it means doing without some of the necessities of life. They find themselves feeling guilty. The guilt comes either from giving and seeing their family going without, or from not giving to excess. Consequently, they begin to feel resentment of the church, the Lord and even against their faith. The damage of the falsely-received guilt will affect them for a long time.

Messages fly through the church, and for one reason or another, the recipient of the messages accepts them as biblical and struggles with false guilt for many years to come.

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