In 2007 John Piper wrote an article in Christianity today called “Gutsy Guilt”. In the article he described a conversation he had with George Verwer, the founder of Operation Mobilization.
Verwer’s burden at that conference was the tragic number of young people who at one point in their lives dreamed of radical obedience to Jesus, but then faded away into useless American prosperity. A gnawing sense of guilt and unworthiness over sexual failure gradually gave way to spiritual powerlessness and the dead end dream of middle class security and comfort.
Many young people are not getting involved in mission because they do not know how to deal with failure. Satan uses guilt from failures to strip you of every radical dream you ever had. In their place, he gives you a happy, safe secure American life of superficial pleasures, until you die in your lakeside rocking chair.
Gutsy guilt is the attitude of those who are guilty (all of us) but who do not let Satan use our guilt to destroy our service of God. They have the guts to take Satan on, to counter his accusations with faith in the finishing work of Christ.
Listen to the experience of a bloke called Henry:
The struggle took over my life completely. I found it very difficult to continue in my relationship with God and in my service for Him … I still continue to serve God, but constantly Satan is reminding me of my sinful state and this causes a stumbling block to my faith.
Paul says that Christ disarmed Satan by nailing the record of our sin to the cross (Col 2:14-15). In reply to Satan’s accusations we can say,:
Yes I am an unworthy sinner, but Christ has taken the record of my sin and nailed them to the cross so get out of my way. I am off to serve God and his people.
In John Piper’s article he concludes with these words,
When you learn to deal with the guilt of sexual failure by this kind of broken hearted boldness, this kind of theology, this kind of justification by faith, this kind of substitutionary atonement, this kind of gutsy guilt, you will fall less often. Why is this so? Because Christ will become increasingly precious to you.
Best of all, Satan will not be able to destroy your dream of a life of radical obedience to Christ. By this Christ exalting gutsy guilt, thousands of you will be able to give your lives to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all people through Jesus Christ.
Are you prepared to admit guilt, seek forgiveness, nail your sin to the cross and get on with serving God with a passion?