Modern American culture places a dubiously high value on individual personal happiness. This is purposefully, and directly opposed to the will of God. It is an elevation of man’s position and authority over God’s. The sinner should first and foremost seek to do the will of God and find His happiness in the peace that comes through being in God’s will. We are commanded to do what is right. Right, is not some secular consensus. It is what God has deemed right and good in His sovereign will as Creator and Sustainer of all things. To do God’s will is where we will find peace, happiness, joy, contentment, and fulfillment. We won’t find those things in any lasting or meaningful way seeking our own understanding of what happiness is. So you go ahead and try to find your happiness in the world, among things, and fleshly pleasures, and when you are empty, broken, and full of misery, remember… you did what made you happy…
If you could see all of your sin it would be unbearable. As Christians we see a sin that we committed and lament over it. Sometimes we spend way too much time beating ourselves up over it. Believe it or not, this comes from idolatry. We punish ourselves for sin as self-righteous idolaters. How dare we rob Jesus of the glory He is rightfully due? He paid for our sin debt on the cross of His crucifixion. He had the wrath of the Father poured out on Him unto completion, yet we dare to bemoan our lowly estate as victims! For those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation of sin! Get up off your pity-pot and stand for Christ! See what He has done for you, not what you must do for yourself!
When we punish ourselves for failing it moves us away from Christ. Our shame and guilt stop us, or delay us from repenting. We languor in our own guilt and shame, powerless to do anything for God. We have put ourselves on the cross and on the throne of our lives. “I messed up so I must pay the price.” How ridiculous are we? How could we ever hope to pay the price for our own sin? It is this kind of narrow, short sighted view of sin that keeps us in bondage to the guilt and shame that separate us from our assurance.
What we need, is to see our sins as manifold as they are. We need to see them as God sees them. He is infinite in His authority. He is perfect in His righteousness. We can not fathom these things. Our finite minds see our occasional sin in part, never the way God sees them. He sees every… single… last… one… in… perfect… entirety… Think about this for a moment. Sinners! Don’t waste time whipping yourselves! By His stripes are we healed! It was Him upon the cross not you! Now that you see things in the proper light, don’t delay, REPENT! Go and serve your King with joy in your heart, knowing the Good God forgave you the bad sinner. All glory to God in the highest!