All posts tagged: Guilt

Stepping out of the swamp of shame

Guilt and shame are emotions we deal with all the time and it is wise for us to understand the difference between the two. Guilt can have a positive influence in our lives. When we feel guilty about what we are doing it motivates us to change. It encourages us to reconcile with those we have hurt or offended. There is also a redemptive quality as we seek God’s forgiveness. But shame is different. It does not want to change you; it wants to beat you down. It keeps bringing up your failures and weaknesses again and again. Its sole goal is to humiliate you. Shame tries to define who you are. Even after we have asked God to forgive us, shame keeps shaking our sin and failure in front of us. Unlike God, it doesn’t want you to forget your past, because it is screaming in our face how bad we are. Shame isolates us and keeps us hooked up with feelings of being unworthy or never good enough. We believe there has always …

Credit: Chris Campbell/Flickr/Creative Commons

Are you self harming?

Whenever I heard the word ‘self-love,’ it made me cringe as I immediately thought of ‘selfishness’. I was pretty sure this was not the Christian way. In my mind, self-love and selfishness were the same thing. But as I pressed into my journey to wholeness — physically, emotionally and spiritually — the idea of needing to love yourself kept coming up. I wasn’t sure how Biblical this was but thought I needed to find out if it was or wasn’t. It seemed that to heal from past issues and recent traumas that constantly triggered me, I was being pointed in the direction of ‘self-love’. What was I getting myself into? And how did this fit with the verse, “deny yourself and take up your cross and follow after me?” Jesus shed His blood on the cross to save the world and it started to feel like I was doing the same thing, making personal sacrifices for others. But were these the sacrifices that God was asking me to make? Was I being motivated by love …

Trees spring to life. Credit: hoho_simon/Flickr/Creative Commons

Unwrapping guilt and shame

I remember feeling numb and barely able to move at times as I began to take responsibility for some of my harsh experiences in past years. Whoever else I had been blaming for my problems was no longer the issue. I had to be real and heal. Denial that I could have possibly played a part or even been responsible for some of my  experiences kept me in the dark. Denial does that. It could include denial about our part in a relationship gone wrong, a breakdown in family relationships or a situation turned bad at work. Facing the facts and focusing on the role we may have played is the first step to turning things around in our lives. When we remove denial and start owning up (being real, and honest) about some things that have not gone particularly well, we begin to move from death to life. The scales  fall from our eyes as we take responsibility (even if it was just a small part). But once we have accepted our role, we …

All tangled up

“Let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so easily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us,  and  let us run with patient and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 AMP) Sin tangles us up and keeps us off course from our purpose. It trips us up and we need to be aware of what it really is and how it affects our life and our purpose. Recently, I got myself all tangled up and without my husband’s help I would have continued to trip over my feet every time I stood up! I was overdoing it when it came to taking care of my parents.  It wasn’t really necessary that I did as much I was. I kept telling myself to slow down and stop running over to see them every other day as they are fine and well taken care of in their present retirement home. But what was driving me to do this? …

Dealing with the pain of grief.

How grief tilted my world

My first-born son, Graham, died on January 15, 2004. He was 18 years old.  He took his own life while stranded on a country road in his own vehicle. My world took a serious tilt. My perspective on life shifted to the dark side. Everything and everyone changed as I viewed them through the eyes of grief. I didn’t know what to do with the people who surrounded me and engaged in life with me. I was terrified to talk about the loss of my son. Not feeling free to share feelings and thoughts hindered my grieving process.  I read the Bible and books on grief and suicide hoping this would help me deal with people’s questions and comments. Nothing could prepare me though. I had to face it alone and walk through the unknown waters of grief and let the waves splash over me. People meant well and out of the uncertainty of what to say their comments sometimes came across the wrong way — like my son’s suicide was probably for the best …

A woman’s perspective: Why do I feel guilty every time I say ‘No?’

[by Barb Smith] About a year ago, I came to a new understanding of the biblical term “dying to yourself.”  It seemed every time I said “no” to a request for help or an outing, I felt guilty if I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my time and deny myself for the sake of someone else. Often, I over commit and say “yes” even when my body is screaming “don’t do it!”  The reason I say “yes” is because I feel so guilty when I say “no.”  This is an ongoing struggle and I am in a constant process of finding a balance that is right, not out of selfishness, but out of the need to function as an emotionally healthy woman. I realized my sense of worth was determined by what I did for others. The verse “unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies,” as I understood it, meant I must die to everything, all the time, as a spiritual sacrifice to God.