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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Guile or Guilt?"

April 27, 2004

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I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD” – and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5

How do you deal with sin in your life, with guile or with guilt? We would much rather explain sin away. Like the serpent in the garden we learn to use guile in our relationships with others. In our marriages we often use our spouse to get what we want (the games people play). Guile. On the job we backbite against our employers and fellow workers, slow down deliberately in our work, and take company materials home with us for our own use. Guile. Children sneak a cookie when no one is looking, take something belonging to a brother or sister, and lie to Mom or Dad. Guile. In church we sometimes pretend piety toward God while blaming others for our wrong attitudes and bad example. Guile.

David tried to deal with sin by using guile or deceit – with miserable results. “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Psalm 32:3-4). When he honestly admitted guilt, David experienced the beautiful forgiveness of God. “Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’ – and You forgave the guilt of my sin.”

We confess our guilt to God and to one another, “and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). Jesus, who lived a sinless life, dealt with our guilt on the cross as He fully paid for the sins of the world. Children of God in Baptism, we regularly receive forgiveness in the Word and at the altar, where His body and blood await us. Ultimately, neither guile nor guilt avail, but grace and Gospel.

PRAYER: Lord God, I confess my sins to You and thank You for sending Your Son to die for me so that my sins are now forgiven. Amen.

(Devotions from “My Daily Devotion” by Dr. Stephen J. Carter, copyright 1988 CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. For ordering information, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit

Today's Bible Readings: 1 Samuel 13-14    Luke 19:28-48

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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