Guilt has very quick ears to an accusation. – Henry Fielding
I better not eat that dessert. I don’t have time to rest. There’s too much to do. I shouldn’t read this book. There’s dirty dishes in the sink. I better sign up for the new committee. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I should go visit Sister Widow. I work too much. I don’t see my kids enough. I don’t want anyone to be upset with me. If I could just do more. I’m obligated. I should. I must. I have to.
Guilt tells us we are too fat, too lazy, too worthless.
I’m not talking about legitimate guilt that convicts us of wrong we’ve done. I’m talking about the guilt that drags us into duty. The guilt that manipulates us into people pleasing rather than doing what is best or even what is right. Sometimes it paralyzes us with fear. This type of guilt MUST be released.
Some time ago I realized how much guilt motivated me. It motivated me to sit down and play with my kids. It motivated me to take on another project for the church. It even motivated me to get up and cook dinner. ‘What’s so bad about that?” You might be asking. Well, it is simply does not give God one drop of glory.
If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal.If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever. 1 Cor 13:1-3
If guilt is my driving force for one act of service today, God help me. Paul said I can speak in angelic languages, prophesy, know it all, believe it all, give it all away but if love isn’t to the propellant, I am just making noise. If I don’t serve my family, my job or my church out of love, I am nothing. If I give up pleasures of life in the name of martyrdom, but don’t love, I am worthless.
Cash in your ticket. Unpack your bags. Reschedule your day. Your guilt trip is cancelled. Proceed forward mobilized by love.
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. (Rom. 12:9)