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Coffee for Your Heart, "What would you say to Guilt?"

Linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart and the topic is "What would you say to guilt?"

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Dear Guilt,

I feel like I can call you Dear because you are such a constant companion.  One that weaves its way into the fabric of most of my life.  Starting back in elementary school and hovering close by as years morph into decades.
But really there isn't anything dear about you.
You cleverly disguise yourself as conviction many times.  As a sensitive conscience.  But you are anything but a motivator for progress, instead you are a fear monger.  Like one of those monks of old making us feel like inner self flagellation is the only way to freedom.  You feel righteous, but instead you cripple us by hemming us into the past.  Making our views of righteousness just dependent on us and how sorry we are and how many hoops we are willing to jump through to prove it.
You cause that paralysis of analysis and thoughts that won't stop spin cycling.
You always prevent growth, healing, and rising to the next level.

I remember the first few encounters I had with you as a six and seven year old.  It's funny now to think what seemed as a heavy weight of guilt to a six year old and then fifth grader now seems so trivial.  But guilt you sure knew how to make me jump higher and higher or stoop lower and lower to placate you.  Many times you are the reason I have made less than wise choices.  Choices that take me back like landing on those unfortunate spaces on a board game forcing you to retrace steps along your journey.  Many times choices made only out of false guilt alter your life for the worse and lead to bondage.

It is amazing how you can walk around absolved of guilt but refuse to take off the shackles of it.  Trying to move forward, but completely inhibited.

Conviction brings confrontation with sin, forgiveness, and kisses you with healing.  You can walk free and move on to other things.  You no longer have to tread the same waters over and over again.
Many times you can feel guilt over something and then push that itchy sweater of guilt back into the recess of your closet.  Perhaps where you barely see it and its ugly patterns.  But all it takes is some minor memory to trigger that guilt and your accuser reaches into your closet and presents it as the garment of choice to wear all over again.  He puts you in it roughly and you comply because it feels like the right thing to do.  You should feel guilt, deeply.
Isn't it interesting that Satan can use guilt that doesn't propel us to Hope right to the edge of Hell? Like Judas who saw no foreseeable hope or forgiveness in the eyes of Jesus but only his staggering sins, guilt provided that coarse noose that forever sealed him from redemption and healing.  That's what guilt does. It stifles and strangles.  If it doesn't translate into conviction and forgiveness it is lethal.
It kills dreams, relationships, and love.  It isolates us from forgiveness and leaves the absolution all up to us.  It is so very lonely.

I love David.  I love that David's life from mountain top victories, highlights of his great trust and patience and then deep valleys of his gross sin are all included in God's summary of him.  We weren't spared the ugly, full disclosure.
David responds to his glaring blood guilt sin of murder and adultery with great contrition.  And from that pain we see one of the most beautiful scriptures and literary pieces on repentance.  Psalm 51.
Yet after this season of mourning and repentance David moves on.
He no longer walks shackled by guilt because He knows that only God provides Salvation, never ending guilt is always a dead end road.  He bares the scars and we all know his dirt, yet His hope is in Jesus not in his perfection or in his omission of all sin.  It's only in Jesus.
He did not let guilt and mourning of his own great personal failure hem into isolation from others or from God.  He owned his sin and trusted God to restore Him.  And He moved on.

Guilt I should know by now that your telltale signs are always past issues that have already been dealt with or finger pointing over things that ultimately are not my responsibility.  You always bring a noose and not an open door for more life.

Guilt I want to be done with you.  I'd rather wear conviction and healing any day.
Maybe false guilt is really a form of self obsession.  One that invites me to obsess and obsess about my own righteousness or goodness instead of causing me to embrace the healing of a God who forgives me anyways.




Comments

  1. Somer,
    You're back! I have missed you so! (And I almost didn't recognize your photo -- gorgeous by the way!) I have so wanted to connect with you somehow (looked for you on FB) and hear how you're doing.

    Oh these thoughts of guilt can wear at us, can't they? Especially when they start when we are young, they become so familiar that it's hard to shed them. But that's just one of the enemy's tactics to keep us from fully experiencing the love God for us and the growth and plans he has for us. And to replace those thoughts and feelings with his truth is the only answer.

    Somer, thank you for these words -- I've been praying for you, friend!! xoxo

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  2. Guilt is just a destroyer of joy, isn't it? It creeps up and simply drains grace. I've been studying the life of David and have been moved as well by his incredible faith. He took God at His word - He believed that He was a keeper of promises and a forgiver of sins (and David had some doosies!). Oh, for the faith that doesn't dig up in the dark what God has done in the light. So glad to meet you through #coffeeforyourheart. Blessings, Summer!

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