A few weeks ago I wrote about Insecurity. As I was writing I realized that of all the “side effects” of the life I lived as a result of living a life blinded by her, the one that I struggled with the most after I had overcome Insecurity was Guilt. I know many, if not most, believers struggle with it. Guilt is just downright ugly. Why? He settles in after one becomes saved but he also shadows the heart of those who are even exposed to The Word, making you feel as if you do not deserve the love and grace being offered so freely.
I personally think that of all the battles God has set before me through this is the toughest, I won’t lie. It is the toughest for a a whole lot of reasons. The feeling Guilt gives is more than just being chained or trapped- it is both and more. It is being caught up with, identifying with and even personalizing him. You do it on so many different levels, for so many different reasons and, if you are like me, you meditate upon him as well. All these form a twisted web around your mind, heart and soul that can literally choke Joy and Peace out of you. For the longest time I didn’t know what to do about Guilt, in fact I actually thought that maybe I had to live with him, I figured he would help me stay on the “straight and narrow”. How terribly wrong I was, Guilt has no part to play in keeping me “in line”, in fact he is a burden from the enemy meant to weigh me down and delay progress.
Guilt operates by putting you in an emotional and spiritual vacuum of sorts. In this vacuum you cannot hear anything above your Guilt nor can you feel much else besides guilt. When you wrong someone and you feel guilty about it being around them makes you VERY uncomfortable and you will avoid being in their presence, forget talking to them. Every time you think of the person you can’t help but remember what you did to them, and so you try to avoid thinking about them as well. Eventually anything and everything to do with the person just intensifies that feeling of guilt until that is all you can associate with them. It is especially worse when you love the person.
When you love someone, when you care about someone wronging them, disappointing them HURTS. It doesn’t just hurt them but it hurts you too. Actually I am now convinced that Guilt is a very selfish trait. Guilt is mainly centered in how we feel about what we did and less about the one we wronged. It’s based on how we think about ourselves and disregards how the offended party may feel, especially if they have forgiven us. It’s based almost entirely in how we view a certain action, if anything it is a reflection of our ability to forgive and how we see ourselves. Holding on to Guilt is us just saying not only aren’t we worthy but it’s a mockery of the next person’s act of love and understanding by choosing to forgive us.
My dance with Guilt began long before I had decided to give my life to Christ, it actually began when I started drifting away from all that I had been raised to know was good and right. The further I drifted the worse I got entangled. I felt guilty about the lies I was telling, the double life I was living. The more I turned my back on the Truth, the more I convinced myself that I wasn’t “saveable” and the more I tried to convince myself this the guiltier I felt for letting myself believe this and disappointing those that saw the me that I thought could be saved.
To feel guilty about “spiritual” things seemed to make sense as I continued to make decisions that were obviously questionable. Just as Insecurity had managed to move from my physical to my spiritual. Guilt decided to move, swiftly, from my spiritual to my mental. It’s one thing to feel guilty about being wrong in the eyes of “the church” but to feel guilty about being below the “worlds” moral standards is a whole different kind low. When you just know that you are a terrible person, when you don’t need to be told and you just know. Guilt likes to take you to that point where you become your own greatest judge.
For me Guilt usually stems from the idea that I am/was a good person and as such I shouldn’t have done what I did because good people, good girls, good CHRISTIAN girls do not do that. It is tough when you become like the people you used to judge and look down upon. Simply put the source of Guilt is Self-Righteousness, where you feel that on your own you should be Perfect, Spotless, Flawless- forgetting that it is Christ who cleanses and perfects you in his blood.
Guilt likes to come from all angles, and he loves to magnify Insecurity. That’s how he wraps himself about you and entangles you. Each seed of guilt loves to grow and wrap around your heart, your mind, and reaches over to connect with another seed until you cannot tell one seed from another. You will not be sure where what starts and where it ends so you don’t know what exactly you feel guilty about- what you did or what you didn’t do or say. Should you be guilty about who you are or who you aren’t? What about those you hurt intentionally or unintentionally? Should I feel guilty about what I have o what I lack? Short questions yet the answer is so complex up until today I cannot answer them, I suppose it is a little bit of everything to be honest. Whatever it is the answers rope around you, weaving themselves around you as skillfully as a spider spins her web until you cannot tell where it begins and where it ends. Eventually what you feel guilty about is what you feel insecure about. Or does what you feel insecure about become what you feel guilty for? On some days I cannot day, on other days I cannot but one thing is clear- they love to stay connected and when they connect they solidify and consolidate the tangles of Guilt while highlighting Insecurity.
Where Insecurity is mostly a battle of the past, Guilt is an ongoing battle. Everyday is different, some days I feel Guilt less and others at feel him more. No two days are the same because different things trigger different strings. Whatever it is though I am learning to face the trigger, and the triggered string. I have come to learn that if I want to hide from, or smother them they will continue to have a hold on me. The most powerful revelation for me was the one I mentioned earlier- the fact that me feeling guilty is selfish especially when the offended person has forgiven me. So I usually ask myself why I cannot forgive myself and why I cannot accept God’s, or anyone else’s, forgiveness.
The best gift you can give someone you have wronged and who has decided to forgive you is to accept their forgiveness and forgive yourself. Guilt will just destroy your relationship with that person and make things awkward because you get into the habit of bringing up whatever you feel guilty about. Sometimes your guilt becomes your obsession to the point that that’s all you can talk about. For 2 years I allowed myself to be stuck in a place because of Guilt, he kept me in one place and that’s all I can talk about and on the worst days sometimes it comes up again and again. I allowed Guilt to consume me to a point that it became all I could think about, but I have learnt that if all the offended parties have forgiven me I have no right to throw a pity party especially not one in the name of Guilt. Even they hadn’t I should not play the victim but I should take responsibility for my actions and face the consequences.
Just as Insecurity had her verses and playlist Guilt has his own as well (they are almost the same though lol). This playlist keeps me grounded especially on days when Guilt is trying to rip me from the anchor of my faith. These song remind me that it’s not for me to focus on Guilt but on Christ- He gave His life to free me from the Entanglement of Guilt, who am I to hold on to them? Instead I face the chains, the pain, the guilt in His name because that is where my freedom comes from. Guilt should not, and cannot, be allowed to keep me bound when freedom has called my name so clearly. The beauty of Christ is he doesn’t tell me to fix myself and come. No, he tells me to come and then he will fix me. What that means is if I turn it out to be “un-fixable” it’s on him and that leaves me with nothing to feel guilty about. Which simply can’t be cause we all know that “nothing I impossible with God”.:)😍
So I am teaching the voice of God to be louder than the voice of Guilt because with one makes me worthy, loves me, and frees me while the other burdens me, condemns me and entangles me.
My verses and song list:
John 8:36- So if the son sets you free you will be free indeed.
2 Corinthians 5:17- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the old things have passed away, behold all things become new.
MercyME- GREATER (reminder)
MercyME- FLAWLESS (reminder)
MercyME- DEAR YOUNGER ME (note to self)
For King and Country- PRICELESS (identity)
Matthew West- HELLO, MY NAME IS (decleration)
Hillsong Young and Free- GRACIOUS TEMPEST (not all storms are bad;))
Elevation Worship- O’ COME TO THE ALTER (where you.belong)
Big Daddy Weave- REDEEMED (its not about what you have done.but about who he is)
Lauren Daigle- HOW CAN IT BE (amazing grace)
ART: Fadzai❤, Chisha❤, Aisha❤