Yikes. I think we’ve all experienced feelings of guilt. Something we said or did or didn’t say or do. Either way, we feel bad.
Guilt comes in many forms. Why did I do that? Oh man I can’t believe I let her down. She really needed me and I just blew her off. Wow that was the wrong thing to do. I should call. Naw I’ll wait.
And besides that guilt of neglect, we may find ourselves in deeper trauma from acts of crime or cheating and lying or improper affairs of the heart. All of those actions carry a heavy burden of guilt.
Emotional baggage attached to guilt will eat you alive. But there is a remedy and its not cracking open a cold one! First step is realizing what you did was wrong. Feeling bad isn’t actually so bad after all, as it draws us to think about our actions and what it meant to whoever or whatever we affected. The next step though is harder. Acknowledging our actions to God. When its all said and done, our sins are truly against God. And that’s what ultimately drives the enormous weight of guilt.
Peter denied Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane and he deeply regretted it. His guilt was overwhelming. “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord how He had told him, “‘Before a cock crows today, you will deny Me three times.”‘ And he went outside and wept bitterly.” Luke 22:61-62. Through his guilt though, Peter was able to realize his sin and was soon rewarded by Jesus trusting his discipleship to “Tend my sheep.” John 21:17.
David betrayed God by having his army commander Uriah murdered in order to have relations with Uriah’s wife Bathsheba. David’s guilt was his undoing and he was harshly punished for his sin with the death of his child. But David eventually arose from his guilt and suffering and “he came to the house of the Lord and worshipped.” 2 Samuel 12:20.
Guilt is a by-product emotion of understanding that our actions were wrong. So learn from that feeling and conquer the negative emotion that is holding you back and stunting your walk with Christ. Tell God what you did! Say to Him, “Lord I sinned against you and I am sorry. Please forgive me and give me the strength and courage to fix this problem. Help me to walk in Your path and to never go down this road again.” Remember the great passage, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13.
Botton line is admit your sins to God and work on changing your behavior through His strength and encouragement by way of prayer and the power of the Holy Spirit. And after prayer and a purposeful change in your behavior, you’ll awake one morning just like King David did and those guilty pangs gnawing at your stomach will be gone. Time may help ease pain, but God is truly the One who heals all. Trust me. He’s the answer.
Ok friends I’ll be in touch soon. We’ll keep tackling some of these common emotions and issues we all face in the next post.