Monday, September 21st, 2020

Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?

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Here is one word I hate: GUILT! Oh, how I hate that word. My life has been hounded with guilt. Why?

  • Because of my past.
  • Because many people think I’m nicer than I really am.
  • Because I don’t live up to my own expectations.
  • Because I automatically accept blame.
  • Because I’m not the perfect wife or mother or sister or friend.
  • Because I teach more than I live.
  • Because women are easy targets for guilt.

 

How long a list would you like? And I’m certain you could add some guilt of your own. There are few days in our lives that are guilt-free, and for far-too-many of us, our days are filled with guilt.

Life under a load of guilt is not the abundant life that Jesus came to give us. Guilt steals our joy, hinders our productivity, interrupts our peace, harms our relationships, and worst of all, makes us self-focused. Yet many of us continue to live with guilt because we feel guilty if we don’t feel guilty! Little wonder that the enemy of our souls, Satan himself, wields this weapon of guilt so broadly and with such effectiveness.

Guilt is both a fact and a feeling. It is possible to be guilty without feeling guilty. It is possible to feel guilty without being guilty. And obviously, it is possible to be guilty and feel guilty. No doubt you have experienced all three conditions.

However, feeling guilty when we are not guilty is false guilt caused by wrong thinking, and that’s what I want to talk about this week.

It is not God’s will for us to live in guilt. Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm, then, and do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Living with false guilt is living with a yoke of slavery. It’s time we start refusing to submit to the yoke of guilt. But maybe you’re thinking, that is easier said than done.

Of course it’s easier said than done! What isn’t? But it is possible to learn to live without constant debilitating guilt! We have power to do it because we have God’s Spirit in us, if we have been born from above into God’s family.

[Mary has written a book on this topic and it’s on sale this month.  Click here for more information about Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?]


Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?

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Here are some examples of false guilt:

My boss said, “You don’t have that report finished yet?” I feel guilty, but I haven’t had time to breath. My boss keeps interrupting me with other priorities, then doesn’t understand why everything doesn’t get done on time!

False guilt happens when we believe that we must meet everyone’s expectations, regardless of how unreasonable they may be. Often it is our own expectations of ourselves.

A lot of false guilt comes from our pasts, such as this one:

Before I became a Christian, I had an abortion, which I now deeply regret.

This kind of false guilt requires much prayer, support from fellow-believers and a constant reminder that God’s forgiveness is complete, he remembers it against us no more, and we are no longer condemned.

Another area of false guilt falls into the category of “if only,” similar to this one:

My father died before becoming a believer. If only I had talked to him more, he might have accepted Christ.

The first step we need to take to be free from false guilt is to recognize it for what it is. It is a burden too heavy for us to bear, and once we call it by its name—false guilt—then we need to take a stand against it, through the blood of Jesus Christ, claiming the victory he can give us, and replacing those wrong thoughts with thoughts of Jesus and praise to God.

[Mary has written a book on this topic and it’s on sale this month.  Click here for more information about Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?]


Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

¿Por qué siempre me siento Culpable?

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A continuación, se muestran algunos ejemplos de culpa falsa:

Mi jefe dijo: “¿Aún no ha terminado ese informe?” Me siento culpable, pero no he tenido tiempo de respirar. Mi jefe me sigue interrumpiendo con otras prioridades, ¡y luego no entiende por qué no todo se hace a tiempo!

La culpa falsa ocurre cuando creemos que debemos cumplir con las expectativas de todos, aun sin importar cuán irracionales son. A menudo son nuestras propias expectativas de nosotros mismos.

Mucha culpa falsa proviene de nuestro pasado, como este:

Antes de convertirme en cristiana, tuve un aborto, que ahora lamento profundamente.

Este tipo de falsa culpa requiere mucha oración, el apoyo de los hermanos en la fe y un recordatorio constante de que el perdón de Dios es completo, que ya no lo recuerda en nuestra contra y que ya no estamos condenados.

Otra área de culpa falsa cae en la categoría de “si tan solo”, similar a esta:

Mi padre murió antes de convertirse en creyente. Si tan solo hubiera hablado más con él, podría haber aceptado a Cristo.

El primer paso que debemos dar para liberarnos de la culpa falsa es reconocerla por lo que es. Es una carga demasiado pesada para nosotros, y una vez que la llamamos por su nombre (culpa falsa), debemos tomar una posición contra ella, a través de la sangre de Jesucristo, reclamando la victoria que Él puede darnos y reemplazando esos pensamientos erróneos con pensamientos de Jesús y alabanza a Dios.


Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?

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I often envision women carrying a guilt backpack all the time, collecting guilt along the way. These backpacks are stuffed with what I call “girlish guilts,” the small everyday guilts we accumulate without even noticing. Here are some examples of girlish guilts to which a woman’s first response will most likely be, “Oh, I’m so sorry!”

  • A coworker says that while you were on vacation last week, the place fell apart and she had to work late every night. You feel guilty for taking a vacation.
  • Your child says she got in trouble with her teacher because she left her homework at home. You feel guilty for not making sure your child took her homework.
  • Your sister says she tried to reach you three times yesterday and kept getting your voice mail. She didn’t leave a message but you still feel like you’ve failed her.
  • Your boss asks you where you put a certain file, and you are quite certain you have not touched that file, yet because he/she accuses you, you assume guilt.
  • You promised to help decorate the church for an upcoming event, and then you came down with a bad cough the night before. The tone in your friend’s voice was anything but sympathetic when you called to say you couldn’t make it, and you feel very guilty.

 

Each of these girlish guilts is false guilt and there is no need to apologize.

We need to break our bad habit of apologizing for things for which we are not guilty. Remember, you can empathize—put yourself in someone else’s shoes and be sympathetic—without apologizing.

[Mary has written a book on this topic and it’s on sale this month.  Click here for more information about Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?]


Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?

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Do you struggle with lots of guilt? It could be that you have allowed others to shift their blame to you and you have become their dumping ground. Mothers, wives and women do that far more easily and often than fathers, husbands and men do. That goes back to our nurturing natures, our desire to make everything right, and our tendency to feel guilty when accused without examining the facts.

Remember, if others are in the habit of using you as a dumping ground for their guilt, it’s because you have allowed it to happen. Think of it as flies swarming toward a porch light on a summer night. If you put a screen around that porch, tightly fitted with no holes, they’ll run into the screen and won’t be able to get to the light. So, we need to build some screens that prevent others from dumping guilt on us when indeed we are not guilty.

Another area of false guilt that is common to many of us women is mother guilt. I am convinced that children are born with an instinct for manipulating their moms through guilt. They learn to do it before they walk or talk.

If I cry loud enough and long enough, my mother will pick me up.

If I pout and look unhappy, my mother will give in.

If I say that all the other mothers do it, she will capitulate.

But in reality, we are not doing our children any favors by allowing them to dump false guilt on us. We have a responsibility to teach them to respect our boundaries, and to accept responsibility for their own actions or inactions. We’ll raise much healthier children when we do.

I believe the enemy of our soul uses guilt as a way to keep us in bondage and keep us from being as effective for Christ as we could be. Paul wrote to the Galatians, “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1). I want to encourage you to stand firm against the enemy and ask God to teach you how to have victory over false guilt.

[Mary has written a book on this topic and it’s on sale this month.  Click here for more information about Why Do I Always Feel Guilty?]