Give Your Shame/Guilt To God’s Spirit

Hebrews 10:22 (WEB)

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The Power Of Forgiveness

The Power Of Forgiveness

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD — Psalm 130:1

There is a story from Spain about a father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away from home, and his father set out to find him. The father searched for months, but to no avail. As a last-ditch effort, the father took out a full-page ad in a Madrid newspaper. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of the newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you. Your father.” The next Saturday, 800 men named Paco showed up, all looking for love and forgiveness from their fathers!

How many people in life are walking around looking for love and forgiveness from their Father in heaven?

If you’re like the rest of us, you have probably messed up once or twice in your life. We all make mistakes! As it says in Ecclesiastes 7:20, “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins” (NLT). However, there is also a danger in thinking that you are only a sinner. Every time we fall, there is the risk that we will be too discouraged to get back up again. The next step after sin is repentance; yet sometimes, we find it hard to move on.

In Psalm 130 King David exclaimed, “Out of the depths I call out to you . . .” The  sages explain that the “depths” David was referring to was the depths of sin. Sometimes when we sin, we feel so low and so far from God. We feel like we are deep in the gutters of life. How can we possibly climb out? How can we face our God again? We feel distant, unlovable, and unworthy.

The sages caution us, “Do not consider yourself wicked in your self-estimation!” If we give in to those feelings of unworthiness, we will never be restored to our true selves. In Psalm 130 David also reminded us that God is forgiving. He implored us to put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (v.7).

God is waiting for us, loving us, and anticipating our return so that He can forgive us. We just need to return to Him.

Imagine that you open the newspaper today and you see an ad with your name on it: “Dear _____. Meet me in church on Sunday at noon. All is forgiven. I love you. Your Father.” Believe it — God is sending us this message every day! We just need to turn to God in repentance, and He will do the rest.

djs

Let Guilt Go!

Feel at Peace: Lose the Caregiver Guilt

Scene one: The first call of the day from your mom you can handle.

“Oh, hi, Mom. Yes, it’s a pretty day. Maybe you should walk down the hall and see Marian?” You chat awhile and then say, “Bye. Love you, too.”

Five minutes pass. You answer the ringing phone again.

“Hi, Mom. Yes, it’s a pretty day. Are you going down to see Marian, like I suggested when you called earlier? (this seems polite and gentle). “Yeah, you did call earlier. You just forgot. No problem. Love you. Bye.”

Six more minutes and the phone rings again. You see it on caller ID. And you ignore it. The rule of three has kicked in and you let it go. You know Mom’s okay as you’ve already talked. She has heard your voice. It’s okay to ignore the call. But still, you feel guilty.

Get used to it – the guilt I mean. The phone thing was just one of the games I had to play. When Mom would call the first time, I’d answer and see how she was doing. The second time, I’d gently try to let her know she had just called. The third time – well, sometimes it just seemed better to ignore it. I knew she would be embarrassed (or else think I was lying, depending on the day) if I told her she’d called three times within 15 minutes. It seemed kinder to just not answer the phone and let her forget that she called.

Guilt has a purpose in life. If we are mean, we should feel guilty. If we owe someone an apology, we should be big enough to do so. But guilt is a complicated emotion. We take on the expectations of our culture, our religion, our family. And then we take on the expectations of our toughest critic – ourselves. That committee that meets in our head tells us we are not doing this caregiving thing well enough. If we were “good” people, we’d just keep answering the phone endlessly until Mom found something else to do.

 Of course, these thoughts are untrue and brings on a sense of false shame/guilt. Let it (guilt/shame) go!

(for Texas Medical Center (Hospice), Houston, Tx.)   (D.J.Saker)