Mark 3:24-25 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.
Sometimes we forget what the church is - it is the body of Christ. Sometimes we forget why Christ came - to save us from our sins, to forgive us, and to give us life & peace. We forget because there is something that comes first in our lives, that comes before Christ - and usually that is ME.
We live in a world where winning isn't everything, itís the only thing. We live in a world that teaches - if you don't take care of yourself, who will? We live in a world where we are taught to win at all costs. And yet, scripture teaches us - to have this mind in you which is in Christ - who though he was God, emptied himself and took a servants form - Christ who lost his life to save us from sin.
And that brings us to the problem, for often we are so full of the desire for the things of this world - or so full of ourselves, that there is no room for Christ in our lives. God may have given us a day of rest, and we may even go to church - yet how much time do we have in our lives that we spend growing in Christ? Do we have daily devotions? Do we read the Bible daily? Do we gather to study God's word of life? These are not things that guilt should drive us to - these are things we should earnestly desire because through his word, God coveys to us the grace we need to live our lives as Christians, to live not like sinners, but to live as the children of God.
Its not that guilt cannot be terrifically effective at getting things done - guilt can move even the stubbornest people - the problem is that when you do things out of guilt, even though the job gets done, there is no peace, there is no contentment, there is no rest. For though the job is done, the guilt remains. The gospel is all about that power which removes guilt, and gives peace. When guilt is removed by the love of God in Christ - what is there to move us? Not guilt, but the love of God - and the grace that God gives to those who respond to his love, is not only are we redeemed & forgiven, but we have peace and contentment.
And that gets us back to the church and its work - for the devil certainly doesn't want these things to happen and so he is always there trying to divide us - and his chief weapon is that we should withhold forgiveness - until we win.
This is when we most need to remember that oft repeated word of Christ, that we should forgive others as God has forgiven us. How has God forgiven us? Often and Freely!!!
For it is in the forgiveness of sins and emptying ourselves that we find the fullness of the grace of God in Christ in our lives.