If you read this blog, or know me at all, you know that I am a worrier. Sometimes, that worry manifests itself with mild symptoms of what is typcially known as Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I recently found a little book (taken from a journal article in the Journal of Biblical Counseling) by Michael Emlet, called OCD: Freedom for the Obsessive Compulsive.
The most helpful part for me was the discussion surrounding actual versus potential guilt. Often, I get very discouraged by the thoughts of all the wicked sins I could or might commit. I can feel guilty just for the possibility of them. Of course, this is related to the fact that I definitely could do any number of wicked things, because of the sin that lives within me. But the “experience of guilt” is illegitimate in many ways. Jesus did not die for sins his people might commit. He died for the actual sins that they have or will commit. I need to trust his blood for forgiveness for sins I actually have committed (and there are many). And I need to trust his sustaining grace to fence me in from committing any number of possible sins. But I do not need to feel guilty, or obsess about guilt relating to sins I have not actually committed.
This is a complex issue, and overall this little book is a helpful resource, if you or someone you know struggles with any form of what is typically called OCD.