Post 128…The Guilt

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Let’s talk about a few things today.  First punishment.  No one wants to be punished for their actions, but if we did something wrong then we need to take responsibility for it even if it comes with consequences.  However, to us humans living on this earth we don’t want our punishment to be more than it should be, but who exactly is the one that decides our punishment?  We don’t want the punishment to exceed the crime/deed in which we did, or someone we know did.  We want fairness.  So look around right this moment at our country and do you see fairness anywhere?  I sure don’t see a lot of it in certain places.  People do crimes over and over, they get arrested, get out mostly on the same day with no consequences and go right back and commit more crimes…even to the point of murder, rape, and so on.  What is fair about that?  What was fair to the victims and the victim’s families?


We all try to raise our children with morals, honesty, fairness, and so on, but they say they have proved (who they are we don’t always get to know who determines this)that children raised in a violent home become violent themselves.  Well…it could be, but what then happens to the children born into good homes, and have great parents, who go out and commit crimes?  Everyone is capable of committing sins/crimes no matter what household you were raised in.  Sure some will say right now that isn’t so, but in all my studies, I believe it to be true.  More so to get who get abused, but crime can be done by anyone.  Think about all the corruption in the so-called grown-ups that were to be in charge of our country and all the crimes they have committed.  These people were mostly vetted yet even if they started out okay and were for the people, eventually, a lot of them turned and what they are doing to our country is a horrendous crime/s. 


Now, take Adam and Eve for a moment.  They had Cain and Able.  The boys offered an offering to God.  One was accepted and one was not.  But instead of finding out why and changing what Cain did wrong with his gift, he goes out and commits the first murder.  The murder of his brother Abel.  Why?  We can guess he was jealous or whatever, but God saw the heart in which Cain gave his gift the fact is Cain was upset and committed the first murder and how many people were on this earth?  Crime can happen at any time and any place.  People need to work on their morals, their integrity, and their emotions for wrong emotions cause many a crime.


I believe that each of us has good and bad running in us.  One thing we do well, the other not so much.  What triggers a person to do wrong?  What triggers a person to try to cover it up or blame others for their own actions?  Shouldn’t we reign in our emotions, pray, stay close to God, and check our emotions and impulses all the time and in every situation so that we don’t go off the rails? 


Now listen carefully here:  We, humans, do a variety of good things but we seem to do a lot of them with mixed reasons and sometimes those reasons are pure selfishness, greed, power, and so on.  Our motives are important in our decisions to do anything. 


So how do we need to cope with the guilt? If/when you do something wrong do you feel guilty?  Some do, while others never seem to feel any guilt for bad behavior.  God put a conscience in us because when we feel guilt it is a valuable emotion that needs to be dealt with. However, wouldn’t it be nice if people would think about the consequences of their actions before they think of doing something wrong and what happens to those who love them that they are there that have to deal with the outcome of the actions of their loved ones? However, if you consider what you are thinking about doing and how what you do will affect others are you still going to do it?  There are so many great and wonderful people out there who do all they can to stay right with God and do as God says, but then we have the ones who do whatever they can do to destroy our way of life and cause others pain and suffering.  Some do have a conscience, but more and more people are getting worse and worse, and they are destroying people’s lives. 


Guilt should be painful. When we are faced with it we need to deal with it. People need to stop making excuses for their actions and stand up and deal with them.  They need to do whatever to stop doing wrong and begin doing right. 


Some people who have done wrong will try to make up for it (like abusing someone like a spouse or child).  They might feel guilty, and they someone think that just saying they are sorry is okay, or they buy the person something or take them out…but what happens the next time and the next time and the next time?


What about the guilt, and condemnation, that certain groups of people right now in America want us to feel guilty over because we do not agree with their views?  These people in these groups of people want us to accept whatever they tell us even though we know what they are peddling is not of God and not good.  They don’t care that we have an opinion and the right to disagree with them.  Because we disagree, they want to destroy us and our way of life. I don’t need to list all these people and groups…just turn the news on, read a paper, watch tv, go to the movies, or even listen to some music.  The violence out there when you don’t agree with them is insane, yet they still have no guilt or change in their life.  They just want to punish and destroy anyone who doesn’t believe and go along with their lies.


Do you realize that guilt is not the same as just feeling bad?  People feel bad all the time but do nothing to change.  Guilt should make you want to do right and get right…that conscience is within you.


What about the positive emotion that can happen when you feel guilty?  If you know you hurt someone that was valuable to you, what will you do to fix the situation so they will know that they are valuable to you?  Will you do it again? Will the person still trust in you and believe you that you don’t want to hurt them again?  There are many aspects to this one as to what you did or didn’t do, how it affected them, how bad it was, and who was involved in it. Everything is not you say you are sorry, and all is well.  Trust takes time to build back up. Are they willing to give you that time?  If not: then what?


Guilt comes in many forms such as guilt over something you did, something you didn’t do, or even something you think you did.  But what about the guilt over being jealous of what another has, has done in life?  Does someone else’s success make you feel guilty because you don’t have what they have?  It shouldn’t but for many it does, and it is not a good thing to feel like this.  People can also have guilt for failing to help someone in need when they could have helped them. We can’t help everyone, but sometimes we can do much better at helping someone.


What about the guilt you lay on someone else?  You want them to do something, so you guilt them into doing it.  That is wrong!!!  You want to trip them out with obligation because you did something before so somehow, they owe you.  Did you do whatever you did for them out of love and goodness or because somehow you thought they should do something for you down the road?  Don’t be like this.  Do whatever you do for another out of a good heart or don’t do it.  They don’t need the guilt trips.


Guilt can be also an emotion where one is convinced, they have already caused someone or something harm.  They don’t like how they feel about it.  Maybe it can be fixed, but maybe it can’t be.  We are all responsible for doing dumb things in life and a lot of the time those dumb things hurt another person/s.  We can’t take back our actions and maybe nothing can be mended…so the guilt remains in our heart and even the longing to fix things we can’t fix…stays with us.  How many people in our lifetime have we hurt even when we didn’t know we did by our own actions? How many dysfunctional people are out there because they don’t have a clue how to stop the guilt they live with every day?  It is not always easy to change our thought process…but we can do it.  When we find out how to change our thoughts, we change our emotions.  None of us wants to go through life living in guilt we can’t fix.


So, you did something wrong.  Admit it.  Take responsibility for it.  Did you, in doing whatever it was, violate your own belief system and/or moral code yet you did it?  You most likely caused someone else pains in some way.  Physical, emotional, or even psychological pain.  In whatever you did was it because you lied, stole, cheated, gossiped, or worse?  We feel guilt when we go against God’s right way of doing things.  Our conscience is in us for a reason and God put it there. It is best to listen to it…especially before we do anything we know in our being we should not do.


Even things like overeating, drinking, smoking, and drugs, etc…that we said we would not do again and we did…we feel guilt over.  We had the power not to do these things yet chose to and for that little while might have felt okay, but then wham…. guilt!


People who don’t feel guilt over their actions in life a lot of these people are psychopaths. They know what they did but have no guilt in them.  Even if caught they might say they are sorry…but they are not real.


It is better when we do something wrong to say we are sorry.  But it should be because you really are sorry and not just be a bunch of words. We all need to learn how to stop doing wrong, choose to do right, and then do whatever we can to stay on the right path.  If that takes getting help…never be too proud to get that help.  My suggestion here is to find a very good Christian counselor to help you.  There are a lot of people claiming to be good but ask around and find a person you can trust to talk to.


What about when you are contemplating doing something you know is wrong, but you feel you must do it.  Don’t do it.  Stop right there and honestly deal with it.  Somethings in life might seem fun for the moment to do, but who would you hurt?  Whom did you make a vow to love?  Don’t be unfaithful, dishonest, or illegal.  Do right and change your mind because when we do things wrong, we hurt people.  Don’t be that person. Also, don’t look at another or place yourself in a position to be alone with someone you should not be with. Cheating hurts you, hurts the person you cheated with, and hurts families.  If you are having lust issues deal with it but don’t go there. Don’t put yourself in the position ever with being alone with the opposite sex that you even look at as lust.  How many marriages could have been saved if they just took the time to stop and think about whom they would hurt if they did this?  The grass is not greener.  You promised to love someone and love is a choice.  Love them and don’t allow anyone or anything to come between you.


What about the guilt you might think you did but are not sure?  When we think we might have caused an issue even though we might not have we can feel deep guilt over it. Even in these situations, we can feel great guilt without even knowing if there was an issue. What about misremembering things?  Lots of people misremember things that especially happened a long time ago. How many people have not talked in years to a loved one because they misremembered something?  You can’t prove it did or didn’t happen, but you somehow want someone to pay for your feelings and some do that by destroying a relationship when they really don’t know the truth.


Many people accuse others of wrongdoing when the person did nothing wrong.  The situation didn’t happen like you thought or remembered it too.  Many times, things get distorted and recollection of events is downright wrong. Guilt can be behind our thoughts and need to be dealt with.  We hurt a lot of people by taking things out of context as well.  We don’t know anyone’s heart and we can be 100% wrong at times.  How many things as a child did, we believe happened that never happened in the way we thought we remembered it to have happened?


What about when you feel you should do something for someone and maybe even help them a lot, but right now you have to take care of something else?  What if something happened to that person…do or would you feel guilt for not being there? What about your obligations such as your marriage, your kids, your parents, your job, etc?  You have things you must do.  You want to help whoever “it” is, but right now you feel the need to do what you must.  We can’t do everything no matter how much we would like to do.  Maybe being there for the person is so involved and time-consuming that you feel guilt also that you are not there for everyone else you need to be there for as well. Sometimes we just get burn-out! Adding to the total emotional drain of the situation is the guilt you cover on top of the fatigue because you think you should be doing more. As much as we would all like to do more sometimes, we must limit what we do so it doesn’t also hurt others we love and care about as well. Sometimes we must separate the guilt, so we don’t feel overwhelmed.  Don’t add more guilt to your life.  Do what you can when you can, but sometimes you must cut back.


What about the uncertainties of life?  We live in a crazy world now and stuff happens.  There are disasters we can’t control for sure.  What if you and your family come through something that others didn’t?  Like a hurricane and the other’s home destroyed, loss of everything, even maybe loss of life…but you and yours the hurricane missed entirely.  Do you need to feel guilty?  We do feel guilty don’t we when we see the pain of what others are going through? We could do nothing, yet we feel the guilt.  Wouldn’t this be also called survivor guilt?  Maybe the disaster not only took the home etc. but the lives that were lost as well.  We can’t fix everyone or everything, and we sure feel guilty when others are in pain.  But now you also need to feel grateful that nothing happened to you or your loved ones.  Do what you can to help all those in need but know your guilt doesn’t help them.  Just be there to help them get through their pain.


I have found I can’t live a guilt-free life.  There is always something out there to remind me of something. Life is sure complicated, isn’t it?  Think of Christmas for a moment (we are right now in that season).  Do you know how much guilt is out there at Christmas time?  A lot!!!!!!!!  I remember when life was easier, people were way more thankful for anything and everything they got.  They appreciated what someone bought or made for them, and they felt blessed by it.  I don’t see much of that this day.  In fact, totally the opposite. I see a lot of guilt, greed, and selfishness.  I see people going into so much debt to give their kids what someone else has as in keeping up with the Jones. You can’t afford (nor many times what you want to give…maybe shouldn’t be given to them at this time and at their age), but everyone tries to make you feel guilty.  After all their friends have whatever “it” is, so you are depriving them of something. There need to be limits set on everything.  If you can’t afford something don’t go into debt.  Many kids you do into debt to give them whatever “it” is they think they must have…will not even be playing with it two months down the road.  And what about the so-called relatives who don’t give you the time of day but when a birthday or Christmas comes along, they think you somehow owe them a gift?  Do you?  I remember my mother saying to write a think you note to whoever took the time to give me something if they made it or bought it.  They didn’t have to do that and to always be grateful for whatever they got…even the things they thought might have been dumb.  It is like in the Christmas story when the little boy got the PJs.  Although a crazy gift for the little boy…someone took the time to give it to them.  Might not have been what you hoped for or wanted, but someone thought about you.


I hate to feel guilty.  Most likely you do as well.  Guilt can be destructive or make you deal with it, and you can get better.  The choice is yours.  You can go on living in all the guilt out there or you can change.  Not everyone will like or want you to change.  Some people want you to live in guilt.   


This lesson is not complete.  There are hundreds of things people feel guilty about in life.  Is there anything today that you feel you need to deal with about guilt?  Do it!     


Now may the Lord bless you, keep you, protect you, give you wisdom and knowledge, may be show you what you need to do in any given situation you need to deal with. 

God bless you.