Guilt stops health. That is just a reality. When we have either false or real guilt, we block the hand of God from moving fully in out lives and throughout the balance of our mind, will, and emotions. That is fact not fiction. Deal with it. Yes, deal with guilt.
A friend used to tell me how he lived with shameless guilt. To me that is an enigma. Maybe he had a formula for living that allowed him to remain guilty and be unashamed of his status. Sounds a little sociopathic to me.
Guilt for mistakes and missed connections in living is a healing agent. Just like pain, guilt can lead us to full and balanced health in our physical bodies, mind, will, emotions, spirit, and relationships. These are all interconnected. You must deal will all for full balanced healing. Guilt lives in the soul and affects all other areas.
Is guilt an emotion? No, guilt is a condition and a perception. Guilt occurs when we offend someone. That someone can be your spouse or best friend. That someone can be God. That someone can be yourself. If you are eating what you know is bad for you physically, you are guilty of a sin against the temple of your body. Don’t discount or laugh about it. Remove the guilt by removing the behavior.
Does guilt elicit emotion? Exactly and always. Anyone that is emotionless toward guilt has developed a spurious conscience seared to lack of feeling. I would argue the absence of emotion is an emotion. That seeming absence is apathy and most often rooted in anger and rejection. All of that is intensely emotional, just not as visibly expressed. In fact, that person will find themselves doing horrid acts against themselves and others that have no business expressed in living.
Get angry at your guilt. It can block full freedom and liberty of mind and emotion and body. Get resolute to rid yourself of the reason for the guilt. Let it heal through addressing the issue and resolving it.
Who is the primary person offended in our mistakes? Of course, God is the primary one offended. In Psalm 51 David cries out that it is God and God alone against whom he has sinned. David committed adultery with a faithful friend’s wife. Then he killed the friend. He made other friends be the hand of murder. He sinned against the nation through evil leadership. He sinned against himself through adultery. He sinned against the woman, the husband, the family, his armies, and many others. Yet, he focused all of his prayer to his sin against God. David knew all that he did was wrong.
Are we bound to guilt for our mistakes forever? NO.. NO.. NO.. Later in life David wrote that he had never sinned. He was not denying reality. He was declaring his present condition. He was guiltless before God and man. His sins were forgiven and forgotten and no longer in the remembrance of God. Sure, they are still written for us to read. But in the accounting of David’s life before God, they never existed. This was even before the shedding of the blood of Chirst. David looked to the mercy of God and the promise of redemption and declared himself free of guilt before God.
Peter had been abused as a child in his father’s congregation. The youth minister was the offender. At a campout, Peter was raped by the youth minister. Horrified, he took the guilt of the incident on himself. It was not his to bear. Yet, he took it on himself. Over time, he had become increasingly disturbed and distraught. As a 50 year old adult he showed up on my doorstep. He was unable to hold a job, live in a building, or have simple loving relationships with other humans. But he came to me looking for the healing grace of God.
There were many sessions of listening and learning about Peter and his life. He had lived from that point with a pain the resulted in many mistakes and disconnects. Sorting through all of that took time before we found the root of bitterness and source of guilt that misguided his actions and thoughts.
Once we found that event and removed the undue guilt, we could focus on the due guilt. Last time I saw Peter he was living a simple and loving existence with his wife and dog. They both had jobs and the tormenting life he had been living was over. There were smiles again. He stood straight again. He had friends again. That is health.
Ways to Avoid Guilt and Stay Healthy:
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
Get good friends. Listen to them. Stay in the counsel of the scripture. You can avoid a lot of mistakes if you concentrate on right directions.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless, And I shall be innocent of great transgression
Be aware of areas into which you fall easily. Don’t buy in to, “Well that is just the way I am.” as an excuse for sinful behavior. Change. Change. Seek out the voice of God to correct ill conceived habits and premises and presumptions that rule your life. These result in mistakes and offenses and guilt.
Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD
Ask forgiveness. Put away your silly pride. Get real. Let God forgive you.
I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah
Be bluntly honest with yourself and with God. Open up and admit your errors. Let guilt show you where you need to admit failures and where you need to apply correction.
Pray: Father, this is the life that we are meant to live in Christ. You want us free of guilt. That comes through right relationship with You and with others. We come to You, Father. Forgive us our sins, mistakes, and offenses to You and others. Bring us to the place of mercy not justice. Justice means we must be punished. But mercy means we can stay alive and alert in You and be stronger for our mistakes not denigrated and cast down or removed from fellowship with You. In our greatest guilt we need to find ourselves at Your feet seeking love and grace and mercy. Take us to Your side, Father, when we feel the least accepted. You are our loving and comforting God.
Live prayer; http://youtu.be/MCdvP0Imvms