Psalm 38:3-4 says, “Because of my sin, I’m not healthy. My guilt has become too much for me. It is a load too heavy to carry.” David says, “My guilt is ever before me.”

We try to manage our guilt in many ways. Some try to drown it! Alcohol and drugs represent the Atlantic and Pacific oceans where people attempt to drown their guilt. But there are many other bodies of water as well; possessions, pleasure, power, prestige are all minor lakes that serve the purpose well. Some turn to food. Marlon Brando was once young, trim, and handsome. But now he weighs over four hundred pounds, and he told someone, “I’m sorry for all the harm I’ve done and for all the troubles I’ve brought to others in my life. I’ve never been a good parent or a good husband. I’ve been too busy with my own life to have time for others. Now I’m a guilty old man who’s ashamed of the kind of life I’ve led. There’s nothing left for me except eating.” Some just deny their guilt. They deny the moral absolutes established in God’s Word and therefore adjust our lives downward. We can live any way we want to, and there is no such thing as genuine guilt before God. Guilt is just a nagging relic of Puritanism, a Victorian antique, a psychosis to be denied. Others might try to deflect it. They blame other people for their failures and faults and shortcoming. They blame their parents or their environments. This technique goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.

But sooner or later, all these techniques fail, and we find we can’t escape the consequences of our own sinfulness and guilt. David understood well what Jeremiah would teach us in Jeremiah 2:22; “Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is before me, declares the Sovereign Lord.” Guilt is the corrosion of the soul. How can we get rid of it? We can’t drown it, deny it, or deflect it. But we can dissolve it in the blood of Jesus Christ.

“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart.” (Psalm 34:1-2)