feelings of guilt

True Guilt vs. False Guilt

Picture this courtroom scene:  The jury comes into the courtroom and take their seats.

Judge to Woman"Will the defendant please rise?"  (A frail looking woman stands up with her head bowed; her shoulders slumped.)

Judge to Foreman:  "Mr. Foreman, has the jury reached a verdict?"

Foreman:  "We have, your Honor.  The charges brought against the defendant are:

  • Count #1 - Her past sinful life
  • Count #2 - Not making others happy
  • Count #3 - Not meeting people's expectations of her
  • Count #4 - Being a Working Mom
  • Count #5 - The cause of her divorce
  • Count #6 - Saying "no" to volunteer work at her church.

On each of these charges, we find the defendant GUILTY as charged!

Judge to Woman:  I now sentence you to life in prison where you will serve out the remaining years of your life in misery.  (And with that, the frail woman was lead bound and shackled out of the courtroom to begin her life sentence.)

Obviously, those charges are not ones you would find in a court of law, but they are charges, plus countless more, that women have had levied against them.  As a result, they live a life of misery in their own self-made prison.

"I personally have been there, done that," as the saying does.  Guilt comes with excruciating pain that penetrates deep inside the human spirit.  My feelings of guilt resulted in a loss of self-respect, insecurity, and a sense of unworthiness.

While in my self-made prison, I read a book entitled:  "Happiness is a Choice"  by Drs. Frank Minirth and Paul Meier.  Their explanation of True Guilt vs. False Guilt caught my eye.

TRUE GUILT is the uncomfortable inner awareness that one has violated a moral law of God.  It is produced partially by the conviction of God's Holy Spirit, and partially by our own conscience.  True guilt is valuable.  God uses it to influence us to change our minds about behavior that is wrong, so we can be in closer fellowship with Him.

FALSE GUILT is feeling guilty for something that in reality does not violate any of the laws of God.  Another way of saying that is feelings that come as a result of the judgments and opinions of others, or from a judgment that we have wrongfully imposed upon ourselves.  False guilt send messages to our inward being that shouts:  "You've failed!"   "You'll never amount to anything."  "You blew it."  "It's all your fault!"

And so it was, I did a whole lot of soul searching and made a list of all the things that were plaguing me with guilt.  I asked forgiveness of those things God was gently showing me were indeed, True Guilt---things that were hindering my relationship with Him.  I took the remainder of that list, threw it in the garbage can, and let it take a ride on the garbage truck.  I then walked out of my prison cell a free woman.

           My case of "False Guilt" had been taken all the way to the Supreme Court of the Universe, Almighty God, and He dismissed the charges against me.

Do you need to come out of your self-made prison?  It will free you to become the Created Woman God designed you to be----minus the heavy load of guilt!