Guilt. I feel its sting in the aftermath of the stupid choices I make. In those moments, it can feel like God is a thousand miles away and that He’s not interested in hearing how I’ve blown it again. I can get stuck in a catch-22, trying to clean myself up first before I talk to the only One who can actually purify me.

When guilt causes us to avoid God, that’s when it turns into debilitating shame. We choose to live in self-imposed exile, forgetting that Jesus already put an end to our separation from Him.

Why waste time in exile when God is offering us a way back to freedom? The good news is that when we come to Jesus humbly, confessing our sins and re-centering our lives on Him, He always cleanses us and sets us on the right path again.

So should we just sin whenever we want because God will always forgive us? Of course not. When we choose to sin we whittle away the freedom Jesus died to give us. We live as though sin is still our master and we miss out on the abundant life God wants to give us.

“Offer yourselves to the ways of God and the freedom never quits. All your lives you’ve let sin tell you what to do. But thank God you’ve started listening to a new master, one whose commands set you free to live openly in his freedom!” (Romans 6:17-18, MSG)

The message of the gospel is that every day is filled with new mercies. Today is your opportunity to turn your heart away from sin and shame and look upon Jesus, who opened the way for you to trace your steps back to the cross and have a fresh start.