I like watching courtroom programs like Law & Order & Perry Mason. One thing they have taught me is the meaning of guilt. In my opinion, guilt implies a misdeed has been done. Sometimes, such as on these shows, the misdeed is a terrible crime, someone has broken the law. At other times, people have done something bad that may not be criminal but is still looked down upon by society. In these case, people are not only guilty. They should feel guilty. They have done something very bad!
Unfortunately these days, we not only misuse the word “guilty” we OVERUSE it. Especially women. We tend to feel guilty about everything. It often seems we believe we have done something wrong, sometimes many things, over the course of a day. None of these things is criminal nor have we committed a wrong act that might be considered bad by society. No, the only judge & jury of our misdeed is in our own minds. We are the only ones that THINK we have done something wrong. Or are we?
You see, I believe it isn’t guilt that we are feeling. I believe it is FEAR. We aren’t guilty of doing something wrong, we are simply afraid others will think we have done something wrong, even if it is only wrong in their minds. We worry what people might think, what they might say, what they might do. We fret & fume over every act wondering constantly if we are doing the right thing. Tell me, who is it that determines what is right?
Well, that’s part of the problem. In this day of immediate internet access to information, we are able to find multiple opinions to help (or hinder) every decision. We worry that we might be criticized on social media by well meaning friends & family once we make a decision. AGH! How is anyone expected to raise a family, run a home, have a career, have a LIFE with everyone staring over our shoulders?
I have some suggestions to help you make the best decisions but those are for another day. For today, I would like to offer one small thought. Fear is the opposite of faith. Perhaps we need to strengthen our faith in order to reduce our fear. The verse I share on the graphic with this post comes from the story where Jesus calms the storm. The disciples were in a panic. When they wake up Jesus, begging him to do something about the storm, He asks them why they are so afraid. “Don’t you have faith?” Jesus let’s them know that strong faith overcomes the greatest fear.
So, it appears the first step reducing our fear, our guilt, is to strengthen our faith. And I can help! More to come!