When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?" He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
(Genesis 3:6-11 NIV)
Adam and Eve had it made. They were walking with God in the garden. They were living the line in the old hymn, "and he walks with me and talks with me." Yet they turned from something that was good, and because of this they felt guilt. Because they sinned, they felt guilt, which turned into sin.
As we look at Adam and Eve's story today, we can call them fools. They had it so good and still did not follow through. But couldn't we say this to ourselves, too?
Hebrews 5 says, “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” In our bias we think we can discern right from wrong with our own consciouses, but this is not true. Only with God’s help! People who are mature in Christ have the ability to discern right from wrong. When we look into this passage there is much that leads up into it. A mature person is one who fasts, prays, and knows the Word of God. If these things are not in your life on a regular basis, then you will have a hard time knowing right from wrong.
Guilt carries with it a heavy burden that keeps us moving forward in Christ and so keeps the church from moving forward in Christ.
Guilt is what we feel when we have done something that is wrong. It leads to fear, and fear is what keeps us from living for God. When we are in this position, we need a savior. If we are to be a church that moves, we cannot let guilt keep us from accomplishing our goal of transforming our community to be followers of Jesus.