The Guilt-Driven Life

What makes you feel guilty? I feel guilty when I gossip, watch something questionable, lose my temper with Ian, spend too much money, eat too much fat, etc. The list goes on, of course. Actually, I’m tempted to stop right now and attempt to complete the list for my own sake. A list would be a good starting point for creating a plan to help myself overcome my weaknesses. It would also be a good bouncing off point for prayer time.

Why do you feel guilty? Is it because you aren’t living up to your ideal, or do you actually suspect or even know that God isn’t happy with you when you engage in certain activities?

If you don’t think God approves, or even if you’re just not sure, why not trade in your activity for a guilt-free conscience? Is continuing in the activity really worth the guilt you’re feeling over it? Can you live without it or find something to replace it?

Even this is from a selfish perspective. I’m trying to persuade you that it’s better for you to live a guilt-free lifestyle – that you’ll be happier that way. In reality, we should be as sinless as humanly possible because that’s what God wants. He created us, and He makes the rules. As an added benefit, yes, you will be happier that way. We’re always happier when we do things God’s way.

Whenever I feel guilty about something, I try to figure out a way to stop doing whatever it is that makes me feel that way. Sometimes, I have to find a way to stop without offending other people. If I don’t want to watch something that’s playing on television or continue a conversation that includes gossip, I sometimes have trouble expressing why. I never want to make anyone feel that I think I am better than they are.

Sometimes, letting go of an activity is a process. I have to keep praying for myself over and over. Eventually, I will feel peace about letting go completely. It always feels good. I don’t even have to beat myself up over past mistakes if I know that I am truly repentant, and ready to begin a new chapter in my life.

Guilt can be a good thing. The Holy Spirit points to things in our lives that need changing. Once you have made those changes, ask for forgiveness and let go of your guilt. Why feel guilty over something for which God has forgiven you and has Himself intentionally forgotten?

Now, I’m gonna finish my list, and try to think of ways to cross things off for good.

A quick question before I go: Do any of you have a humble way of telling others that you don’t want to gossip, watch TV, etc?

2 responses to “The Guilt-Driven Life

  1. If someone brings something to me about someone else that is delivered in a “non helping tone”, I stop them and say let’s pray for that person right now. It’s pretty hard to hold on to attitude when you are activily praying for them.

    As far as TV and music go….. I just share my story. How the Lord convicted my heart about those things and how much my life has changed for the better when being obedient. No one can argue with YOUR story, only your pointing finger.

    I once heard when you point a finger there are 3 pointing back at you… something to think about = )

  2. Sherri, using those opportunities for prayer is a great idea! I never thought of that. I also like your idea about sharing your testimony when it comes to TV and music. The hardest times for me is when we are in somebody else’s home, and they choose a movie or show that makes me uncomfortable. It just makes me feel so bad since it is their own home. I once spent an hour in a friend’s back bedroom because they were watching CSI, and I don’t sleep well when I see things like that. We couldn’t go home because we were staying overnight with them, and we were hours from home. I just need to formulate a response when I find myself in that situation, so I won’t be caught off gaurd with nothing to say. But at the same time, I need to make sure that I don’t come across seeming like I have the “holier than thou” attitude. I really don’t believe I’m better than anyone else. We’re all at different places in our convictions, and I’m sure I have many, many things in my life that I don’t even realize need changing yet. For instance, some of the people who watch questionable things on TV might be better stewards of their finances, or more faithful in church attendance, etc. Anyway, we’re all just people, and God loves us all the same, and I want to reflect that attitude when I have a conversation with someone. I also don’t want anyone to think that I am perfect when it comes to deciding what to watch on TV, either. I just had a wake-up call a couple of days ago, and I am planning on doing better in that area. All I need now is a plan. Thanks for your advice, Sherri!

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