Guilt. He’s been a part of my life for as far back as I can recall.
I’m not referring to the good kind of guilt that can cause us to say, “I’m sorry,” or influence us to do the right thing. I’m talking about the negative, condemning, “you’re worthless” kind of guilt.
Guilt is not my friend.
Why do I hang out with him so much?
He’s rude. He’s condescending. He has nothing good to say about me. I feel worthless and awful when he’s in my presence.
He fires damaging arrows of condemnation straight to my thoughts, which, if I allow, end up piercing my heart.
“Julie, you shouldn’t have eaten that cinnamon roll. No wonder your jeans don’t fit.”
“You idiot. You shouldn’t have said those words.”
“You’re a terrible mom. How could you forget about your son’s test?”
“You should have listened better.”
“You’re a loser. You can’t find a job.”
It’s never a good time when Guilt is around.
He also likes to twist the words of others in my mind.
Someone may ask me, “Have you started writing your book?” He twists it to “If you haven’t started it by now, you might as well forget it. You don’t have what it takes to write a book.”
Or recently a friend voiced to me some unintentional guilt-laden, piercing words. You can bet he had a hey day with them as he steadily whispered “See, you’re a lousy friend.”
Or the worst one… “Have you found a job yet?” He twists that to, “You’re middle-aged. You’re worthless. No one wants you or the skills you think you have.”
As I was 30,000+ feet in the air earlier this week, I got to thinking about this enemy, Guilt, who I so often hang out with. If a person in my life treated me this way, how would I respond to him or her? I would question why. I would pray for this person. And I would stop the madness of subjecting myself to his/her schemes. I would remove myself from his/her presence.
So, why haven’t I done that with Guilt?
Why haven’t I said, “Adios!” to him?
If we have done something wrong, however, we can claim it, confess it to God, and move on. No, we don’t have to live under Guilt’s influence any longer.
But if we own up to our sins, God shows that He is faithful and just by forgiving us of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done.1 John 1:9
Measure how high heaven is above the earth; God’s wide, loving, kind heart is greater for those who revere Him. You see, God takes all our crimes—our seemingly inexhaustible sins—and removes them. As far as east is from the west, He removes them from us. Psalm 103:11-12Psalm 103:11-12
So, if we continue to feel guilty, be have done nothing wrong, it’s a good change Guilt is playing games with us. It’s time to move out from under his tyranny, in Jesus’ name.
It’s time to say goodbye to Guilt.
Friend, if Guilt is having his way with you, too, let’s shut that door together, and bid him farewell. Confess what we need to confess, embrace who we are in Jesus, and live vibrantly in the freedom of His never-ending mercy, His amazing grace, and His inexhaustible love.
So, the next time negative Guilt tries to engulf you, quietly voice with a smile, “Thank you, Jesus, for freeing me from this guilt.”
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