Guilt

Stormy SeaFeelings of remorse for having done something wrong or unacceptable.

A guilty conscience never feels secure. Publius Syrus

How tedious is a guilty conscience. John Webster.

Every guilty person is his own hangman. Seneca

Guilt can be very debilitating. It can rob us our vitality and even our will to live. The consequences of guilt can cause serious physical and mental illnesses. Living with guilt is very unhealthy.

All of us have done things for which we have had felt guilty. It is natural. Bad things happen if we allow feelings of guilt to stay within us? The damage will affect us throughout life. It is a form of bondage; a “ball and chain” attached to us and following us everywhere. It steals our freedom. It is like a toxin getting inside and making us sick; it is poisonous. We may be consciously aware of our guilt or it may become repressed and affect us unconsciously. That thing we call our conscience knows of our guilt and does not let go of it.

We will be handicapped throughout life if we allow guilt to haunt us.  A “deathbed confession” is a person’s need to clear their conscience before they die. Many revisit regrets and wrongs in the “waning” moments of their life. There is a need to rid ourselves of the burden of guilt before we run out of time.

If we desire to become the best that we can be, but are “suffering” from guilt; we are greatly handicapped. Feeling guilty is a good thing in that it is a self-monitoring system that reminds us that we have done something wrong that needs amending. Failing to amend our wrongs has consequences.  Our “guilt” must be dealt with. We cannot let it maintain permanent residence. It is like an enormous anchor weighing us down.

Most of us have had the experience of wronging someone, feeling bad about it and humbly and penitently asking for forgiveness. We may have had the wonderful feeling of a tremendous weight being removed from our shoulders. Our heartfelt confession or being forgiven can free us from guilt.  Some continue to experience considerable mental turmoil and pressure because of continuing to allow the burden of quilt to plague them.

A wise person realizes guilt is an illness that must be dealt with. Usually it requires seeking forgiveness; sometimes from others and sometimes from self. We all make mistakes and will continue to do so. It is healthy and wise to admit our mistakes and ask for forgiveness. Do not let “guilt” linger and live within you.

Challenge: Think of any guilt that burdens you. Where does this guilt come from? What actions are necessary to rid yourself of this burden? It may be desirable to seek out a “wronged” person and ask forgiveness. It may be necessary to forgive yourself. There may be need to make some changes in the way you live your life. Be willing to seek advice from others. It is unhealthy both mentally and physically to harbor your guilt. Let it go.

Wisdom: The difference between greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a mistake.  Nelson Bosell

Spiritual: (NIV)

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

Our conscience is linked to God. He may speak through it to try to keep us on track and remind us of our failings. When we seek to walk with the Lord, the Holy Spirit can speak much more loudly and directly than our old conscience speaks to us. When we have an open relationship with God through the Holy Spirit, we will seek to live more righteously, God will reveal those things in us that are unrighteous and need to be changed.

Prayer:  Please forgive me of my sins and help me to be free from the burden of guilt.

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