Read yesterday’s post Why Am I Feeling So Guilty? HERE.
How many times have you wanted to scream because the guilt of not living up to your own expectations overwhelmed you?
Ladies, we are our own worst enemy. The mind can be a dangerous thing. We have to learn to control it.
Have you ever made a snowman? You remember how you pack the snow and roll it? As you roll the snow, the ball gets bigger and bigger as more snow jumps on board. Tiny flakes of snow that alone wouldn’t cause any notice, become a force to be reckoned with when they are compounded with other tiny flakes just like it. And a cliché is born: It just snowballs.
Our thoughts are the same. One tiny “I feel guilty” reminds us of another thing we feel guilty about, and before we know it, we are kneeling down rolling up a giant snowball of guilt.
We have to stop rolling the guilt.
The Bible tells us this way:
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
In other words, when we start having the “I feel guilty” thoughts, we have to squash them with truth. Let’s get started by looking at 3 steps to shedding the sequined coat of shame.
3 Steps to Guilt-Free Living
1. Take it to God.
The first thing we should always do when we start feeling bad about not meeting expectations is to pray about it. Unfortunately, we usually head to Facebook to see if we have any friends who are worse than us. Or we start trying to make up for it in other areas.
Instead, we need to ask God if this is something we should really feel guilty about.
2. Recognize our freedom in Christ.
While praying, we need to ask God to help us recognize our freedom in Him.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation or those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 NIV
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:5-6 NIV
These verses tell us there is no condemnation in Christ, but also points out that if we are living “in accordance with the Spirit” we aren’t worried about some of these things.
What does this mean? Who cares if I go to the bus stop in my pajamas? I love my kids and constantly teach them about God and His promises. Focus on things that are truly important and let go of the rest.
3. Acknowledge the positives.
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. While you may not be the best underwater basket weaver, you may excel in Target end-of-the-aisle bargain shopping.
After yesterday’s post, a reader commented, “While I may have wrinkled clothes that take a few hours after the dryer quits to come out and be hung up, I also take my son his now clean clothes to school so he’ll have clean practice football clothes.” Guess what? She’s got it right!
For every negative, guilt-filled item you have, I bet you can come up with a positive. Let me try it with my list.
Negative: I feel guilty I’m not more involved in the PTA.
Positive: I’ve been a room mom for the past 7 years!
Negative: I feel guilty for not folding clothes right out of the dryer.
Positive: I’m good about keeping the clothes clean. And while I may not be gifted in laundry, I’m great about keeping the house picked up and organized.
Negative: I feel guilty for not exercising more.
Positive: I’m working on finding time and did walk 2 miles last night.
Are you catching on? Stop right now and find a positive for one of the items on your guilty list. I’ll wait.
See? That wasn’t so hard. I’m proud of us. Let’s take our pajama-clad selves and meet at the bus stop and high five! If you are struggling with the guilt, take it to God in prayer, let Him help you recognize your freedom in Him, then recognize how wonderful you truly are.
God didn’t intend on us living a life full of guilt, he just intended on us living a life full. (John 10:10) Let’s start living it.
Know someone who is living a life bound by guilt? Be sure to share this post with a friend.