Guilt Is Powerful. Here’s What Guilt Can Do To Us

Isn’t guilt powerful? Check out this snippet from TIME that I read a few weeks ago:

“A person who apparently sped off after hitting a parked car in a Minneapolis suburb more than 30 years ago anonymously sent $1,000 to local police this month and asked them to pass it on to the car’s owner, if possible.

The sender also sent a letter to the South St. Paul police department asking for forgiveness, The Pioneer Press reported .

“I was quite shocked,” police Chief Bill Messerich said. “It’s not something you see every day.”

The note says the anonymous driver hit a parked car one evening in 1985 or 1986. The sender expressed remorse and requested police try to track down the vehicle’s owner. The note says the money could be donated to a police charity if the victim isn’t located.”

The power of guilt

Guilt accuses us. Makes us feel less-than. For some of us, this powerful emotion drives much of our daily emotions: anxious, downcast, discouraged, full of regret.

Guilt says, “You have really screwed up, don’t bother trying to get better. You’re too far gone.”

A quick google search shows me recipes for guilt-free cookies, articles for guilt-free parenthood and guilt-free leisure.

With so many messages that accuse us of not caring enough, not loving enough, and not fighting injustice enough, no wonder our anxiety has skyrocketed.

Can guilt make us better?

However, guilt can also a powerful motivator for change.

It can drive us to action. It can focus our energy on making things right. By us saying, “I’m never going to let that happen again.”

Guilt could transform into positive action. I would call that conviction.

Through the unearned grace found in Jesus, we can boldly come to God as a new person: completely forgiven of our past. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us:

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

Old life. Guilt. Shame. It’s all gone. In God’s eyes, It’s like it never happened.

And although God doesn’t remove consequences from our mistakes, in His power can we find this new perspective: that with God leading my life (belonging to Christ), I can make changes to live and love better than ever before, completely free from guilt.

Guilt can drive us to action. It can focus our energy on making things right. By us saying, “I’m never going to let that happen again.” Click To Tweet

God has open arms, not pointing fingers

God is not pointing His finger at you. John 3:17 says that: “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.”

Give all your regrets, shame to God. Start today. Find freedom in His love by understanding that your spiritual debt is too much to ever pay back (it’s way more than $1,000). But that’s why Jesus came to die for us: to pay for our guilt debt in full. 

And when you have no spiritual debt, you have no guilt. You’re not on the hook anymore.

Guilt is powerful. But God’s grace is unrivaled. There’s nothing like it.

Guilt is powerful. But God’s grace is unrivaled. There’s nothing like it. Click To Tweet
Darren Emory is trying to do his best as a husband, father, and Pastor. Those that know him know he likes to joke around and is passionate about helping people connect with God (sometimes he'll do both at the same time).

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