"Delayed hope makes one sick at heart, but a fulfilled longing is a tree of life."
--Proverbs 13:2 (GW)
"I can't believe I did that."
"Why did I say that?"
"I wish I could take it back."
"If only I could turn back time..."
"Why do I keep doing this?..."
Guilt: the reality or state of having committed a crime, violation, or wrong doing that violates a law or moral code; culpability: feeling a sense of remorse for an offense (real or imagined)
Guilt can be purposeful. It suggests that we posses a regard for values and standards; and when there is a violation we have an internal response. Our moral conscience indicates that we have crossed a boundary and we feel a sense of remorse or regret. This can be a good thing as it may be interpreted as a motivator or a catalyst to promote positive changes in our lives. However, there are times in which guilt is no longer purposeful because we are unable to move beyond it.
Being consumed by guilt will halt progress and movement in our lives. When our hearts are consumed by guilt, we lose the capacity to hope. Unresolved guilt may create despair and woe as well as lead to depression and anxiety. When we lose the capacity to hope, our whole being is affected.
The word of God tells in Proverbs 13:2 that when hope (expectation) is deferred (seized, prolonged, or postponed), we become sick (grieved, wounded, weak, tired, infirmed, and diseased) in our souls. Without hope, we are alive--but not living. However, when we move through and beyond guilt our capacity to hope is restored.
If you are plagued by guilt today--I have good news for you! It is possible to lift the "emergency brake" from your heart and begin to start moving again in life.
- Deal with it! Acknowledge the guilt. Take responsibility for actions, words, choices, decisions. Begin to live (John 10:10)
- Take the guilt before the Father. Confess it. Ask for forgiveness and allow the Lord to lift the guilt burden. (I John 1:9)
- If apologies are needed--give them. (James 5:16)
- Receive the ministry of the Holy Spirit as he restores your capacity to hope and move beyond guilt. (John 16:13)
- Remember, no one is exempt for guilt, but we as believers have been given the gift of grace and freedom that enables us to move beyond hindering guilt that has become unnecessary and is no longer purposeful:
"This righteousness of God comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all those [Jew or Gentile] who believe [and trust in Him and acknowledge Him as God’s Son]. There is no distinction, since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God, and are being justified [declared free of the guilt of sin, made acceptable to God, and granted eternal life] as a gift by His [precious, undeserved] grace, through the redemption [the payment for our sin] which is [provided] in Christ Jesus..."
Father, in the name of Jesus, I thank you for those reading this post now who are struggling with guilt. I pray that they would be empowered to deal with it and bring it to you in prayer. I pray that you would lift the burden of hindering guilt now in Jesus' name. Restore the capacity to hope. May they receive the gift of liberty and grace that you so freely give to your sons and daughters. May this be a day of victory and movement in their lives in Jesus' name. Amen and so be it according to your word.
If you would like additional prayer or supportive counseling in this area, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1.866.460.8976.