February 28th — 10th Email
Some of us can be imprisoned by feelings of guilt that lurk at the edge of our consciousness. Once again, the key here is to bring what hides out on the edge of our mind into full consciousness. As we do we ask, “Is the guilt I’m feeling legitimate?” Sometimes we are burdened by guilt when we really haven’t done anything that warrants feelings of guilt. Perhaps we’ve been taught to feel guilty by someone who wanted to oppress us.
Other times we feel guilt over actual sins we have committed. If so, the question becomes: “Have I fully owned this guilt and where possible made amends?” If so, in obedience to God’s gracious will revealed to us in Jesus we need to work at accepting the gift of forgiveness. Moment by moment as feelings of guilt arise, we remind ourselves that Jesus wants us to lay our burdens down. Like the paralyzed man on the stretcher, Jesus says to us, “My child, your sins are forgiven,” and we also discover the power to “take up our stretcher and walk.”
Sometimes when we’re feeling stuck in guilt finding a trusted friend with whom we can share our story can help us experience God’s forgiveness, thereby broadening our personal freedom.
Consider the role of guilt in your life. Is there guilt to be owned, and guilt to be released during the season of Lent?