The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Guilt & Shame

Overcoming the Guilt of Failing to Protect

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Maybe you are the mother who looked away for a moment and your child was kidnapped. Maybe you are the father who was forcibly restrained by thugs and made to watch while your daughter or wife was ravaged. Maybe you are the coach who failed to act when one of your kids was trying to tell you how bad things were getting at home. Maybe you are the older brother who lost track of your sister at a party and didn’t realize she was getting raped in a back room. Maybe you were the leader of a military op that went south and now some of your guys are critically wounded. Maybe you are the law enforcement officer who failed to give your partner the cover he needed. Maybe you are the fireman who got distracted and didn’t see the debris bury your partner. Maybe you are the father who didn’t pick up on the signs that your daughter was getting molested by her teacher. Maybe you are the bodyguard who got nailed from behind and the person you were supposed to protect was dead by the time you woke up. Maybe you are the babysitter who was rocking out to music and didn’t hear your young charge calling for help until it was too late. Whatever the details of your particular situation, failing in the role of protector can result in some very intense, life stopping, health destroying guilt. If this is where you are at, then you are in a crisis, and that crisis needs to be dealt with. God does not want you to spend the rest of your life stuck in the past. He doesn’t want you clinging to the lies that you can’t get past this, or that it’s wrong for you to stop feeling bad, or that the people you’ve hurt have now become your masters in life. So let’s get into it. Read more of this post

Repentant Sinners: Is it wrong to stop feeling bad about the past?

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Let’s say you do something bad—really bad. You knew better, and you had plenty of resources to resist the temptation, but it was one of those moments where you just said, “Shut up, God, I’m doing this.” So you did it. And it was bad. And now some other people are really messed up because of what you did. But then you reached the point of sincere repentance. You stopped with the rebellion and you are now back in alignment with God, sincerely wanting Him to have His way in your life. There are now consequences for what you did in your life and in the lives of others. And in the midst of those consequences, you feel really terrible. You just feel perpetually awful about what you did. Well, isn’t this how you’re supposed to feel? After all, you sinned intentionally. So if you did something super bad, isn’t there supposed to be some limit to how joyful you can ever be after that? If you just go skipping forth in joyous freedom, isn’t that another form of sin? This is what many Christians believe: they think that once someone does something bad enough, it’s wrong for that person to ever make a full recovery, let alone soar to epic heights of soul peace and freedom. Well, what does God say? Read more of this post

Overcoming Shame

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

When humans feel deeply ashamed, their instinctive response is to separate and isolate themselves from all others. Often physical isolation isn’t practical. You have to go to work to pay the bills. You have a spouse and kids living in your home. But though you feel forced to physically be around other people, you can still emotionally isolate yourself by refusing to engage. Your wife asks what’s wrong and you give her that indifferent shrug. When she presses you, you stonewall her with, “I’m fine,” or “I don’t want to talk about it.” And for the person drowning in shame, talking about their misery does seem pointless. After all, words can’t change the past. No, they can’t, but they can save your present and future, and that is far more important. Read more of this post

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t: Finding Peace in the Midst of Moral Dilemmas

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AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Life isn’t as simple as we want it to be. Sometimes we find ourselves being forced to choose between two options which each feel very wrong for different reasons. When there are moral issues on both sides, and when we’ve got our flesh screaming at us and our loved ones pressuring us in different directions, what do we do? How do we find peace with God when we’re feeling forced to choose between two evils? What happens when there is no third option that will magically resolve our crisis for us? This is real life: sometimes there is no option available to you that won’t fill your gut with nervous knots and make you feel like you’re being either a major creep or a total fool. But the good news is that even in these moments, there is a way to move forward, and that is what we’ll discuss in this post. Read more of this post

Overcoming Survivor Guilt

Overcoming Survivor Guilt

AUDIO VERSION: YouTube  Podbean

Satan’s condemnation comes in many forms. Survivor guilt is one of them. In this mentality, we find ourselves intensely focused on the past, we find ourselves wishing we could change things that we cannot, and we find ourselves feeling responsible for things which were not our fault. Lastly, we find ourselves feeling bad for being alive. This poisonous cocktail comes straight from the enemies of God and it is designed to keep you spiritually beat down and mentally miserable. In this post, we’ll identify the false beliefs that are fueling your intense feelings of guilt and teach you some critical truths about why you are still alive on this planet. Read more of this post