Stop feeling guilty

Friday Reflection

23rd October 2020

''s the feeling of guilt... '

10 The thief comes only to steal
   and kill and destroy;
   I have come that they may have life,
   and have it to the full.

....John 10:10. NIV

Have you noticed that
when the subject of guilt
is mentioned, there often follows a heavy sigh,
it's the feeling of guilt
even though the person
hasn't actually done something wrong?

Many of us spend much emotional energy
feeling guilty about our everyday lives;
about the choices we've made
in the midst of this Corona crisis;
about taking time for ourselves;
about not living up to societies
standard of perfection.
This leads to false guilt
and can be difficult to come to terms with.

Guilt reveals itself in many ways,
for example;
Beating ourselves up for past choices or mistakes;
feeling as though we can never do enough;
saying 'yes' when the best answer is 'No';
allowing others to put us on a 'guilt-trip'
or repeatedly overstepping the boundaries;
not speaking up when we need or want to;
feeling permanently indebted
to someone, who once did us a favour.

Does any of this sound familiar?
'I'm not good enough';
'I'm not getting it right';
'I should be doing something more,
something different,
something better'.
But I'm not, so I shall feel guilty.

By doing this we fall into the 'guilt' cycle
and it is difficult to break out.
It's tiring and it's not God's way for us.
It's the enemy's plan, according to Jesus;

10 The thief comes only to steal
   and kill and destroy;
   I have come that they may have life,
   and have it to the full.

... (John 10:10)

God wants us to live in his grace,
to reassess our expectations and let go of guilt.
We need to align our expectations of ourselves
to those of God's.
God has forgiven us,
so the least we can do,
apart from being thankful;
is to forgive ourselves.

Without specifics we will never know
when we're done enough;
so, stop worrying,
and when these thoughts come,
hand them over to God in prayer.
If we are being pressured
by others expectations,
take a step back and ask,
'Is it doable?
Is this what I feel is right to do?
Is this what God is wanting me to do?'
If the answer is, 'No.' - forget it!

We cannot accept and embrace God's
unique life for us
if we don't truly believe
God created us for a purpose -
and that purpose that may
look different from those about us.
St Paul wrote:

2 Do not conform
   to the pattern of this world,
   but be transformed
   by the renewing of your mind.
   Then you will be able to test
   and approve what God's will is -
   his good, pleasing and perfect will.

.... Romans 12:2 NIV