Healthy guilt is conviction from God in order for you to make a change in your life. For example, if you feel guilty every time the offering plate is passed around at church (because you haven’t been contributing lately), that guilt is most likely a nudge from the Holy Spirit that you need to make a change.
More common is false guilt. False guilt is the little voice in your head that is quick to point out the many areas in which you are coming short—some of which are even beyond your control! Such as the fact you didn’t bring homemade cookies to your child’s class, or forget to call your brother on his birthday, or the guilt that the yard looks the worst on the block (despite the fact your lawn mower broke). How easy it is to tag ourselves with the worst parent, worst sibling, worst neighbor award!
Whether your guilt is healthy or false, consider it a warning signal that there is an issue in your life that needs to be addressed. Sometimes self-evaluation will lead to change. Other times it may lead us to our knees where we can turn our unfulfilled desires or unrealistic expectations over to God.
To see where you stand on the guilt-meter, get a piece of paper and list five things you feel guilty about. Then . . . take time to consider these questions:
- Should these things make me feel guilty?
- Do I need make a different plan or hit my knees?
- How does God view this issue?
- What does His word say about it?
Then listen up.
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