24th February 2018

Gilt and Guilt

“Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious! But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead.”
Proverbs 9:17-18 (NIV)

‘Not before your dinner’ my mother warned. In my childish eyes the gold wrapped sweets glowed on the plate, the compelling urge to swipe one grew – risking the wrath of my parent, I succumbed to temptation and sneakily retrieved a sweet from the plate. It was delicious! Then the consequences, ‘did you take one of those sweets?’ Oh no! Now I would have to lie to someone who knew the truth perfectly well! The British politician Dennis Healey was known to have said ‘when you are in a hole – stop digging!’   Unfortunately, my misdemeanour preceded these words of wisdom by many years. By the end of the day I was ashamed and had completely forgotten the taste of the forbidden sweet, however, I still remembered how attractive the gold wrapper was. The writer of Proverbs described how ‘sweet’ ‘stolen waters’ can be but then he/she goes on to explain the dire results.

What is gilt gold? An example is to be found in coinage. Essentially it means that a coin has a thin layer of gold, or something resembling gold, on it. Beneath the meagre gold layer of the coin is almost certainly some base metal. The example is apt, under the thin veneer of temptation are base results.

Sin is often like that, there it is in location, tempting and beckoning – metaphorically gold wrapped. We lie to ourselves about the consequences, but we are caught in the heat of the moment. It doesn’t have to be an item that we covet, perhaps it is something we have heard – a tasty piece of gossip – something we can add to that maybe no-one else knows. The apostle Paul quantified sin in Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’”

Thankfully we have been ‘rescued’ from our sins by Jesus Christ, as we read in Galatians 1:4 “who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.” Jesus has paid for our sins, and washed away the guilt.

Each of us have sinful natures, giving in to temptation and sin, and as a result bear the ensuing guilt or shame. Guilt is often associated with depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health related problems. Sin is bad for us in so many ways! We need to recognise the ‘gilt’ of temptation and seek the power of the Holy Spirit to resist and repent—by doing we are released from guilt.

Father God, we come before you, sorry for our sins, and through the sacrifice of Jesus, we ask for your forgiveness and thank you from our hearts for the release from the burden of guilt.

Study by Irene Wilson


About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, part of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone: 01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print This Article


Got something to say?