Guilt is a powerful thing.
- It can bring you to your knees.
- It can haunt your days.
- It can hold you back.
- It can drive you crazy…
I don’t think there is a working mother out there in the world who hasn’t experienced it. And on those days that you don’t feel guilty, in comes the guilt for not feeling guilty:
So how is a woman of faith supposed to handle this toxic destination to guilt island?
First let’s take a look at where this guilt emanates from. It comes from within and from without, but certainly doesn’t come from above.
Guilt comes from our own expectations of ourselves. We had some idea, or picture of what kind of mother/wife we should be. And when we don’t live up to our own ideal picture, we succumb to guilt. This type of guilt is a fleshly wound from a fleshly mind.
Society around us is constantly telling us what a “good mom” looks like. Family members let us know when we are doing things wrong. Even the faith community paints a picture of what a “godly wife/mom” should look like. And when we don’t measure up to all of these messages from without, we pack our guilt bags and head for guilt island. Why? Because someone else isn’t happy with the way are doing things, and pleasing others becomes more important than pleasing God.
Both paths are destructive. Both lead to guilt trips, and both leave us feeling defeated and inadequate.
So what are we to do?
Take a detour…
To the foot of the cross.
Go to the cross, confess those self-absorbed feelings of inadequacy to the only one who truly knows you and your heart. The One who knows your struggle and desire for approval from others.
You will stand alone at the foot of the cross-the symbol of God’s mercy and grace.
The accusers from within and without will be nowhere insight, when you gaze upon and take in the beauty of God’s sacrifice on your behalf. When you view with heart eyes the reality that God does not condemn you, you will no longer condemn yourself for not living up to this false standard of the perfect wife and mom.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2 NIV)
God, through Jesus Christ no longer condemns you, but instead gives you the freedom to walk away from the guilt trip. This type of trip always takes our eyes off of God and onto ourselves. It becomes about us, instead of Him. It becomes about others, instead of Him.
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The next time this type of guilt comes knocking on your door and asks you to go for a ride, send it packing and go to the cross. The audience of One is waiting for you there, and He is the only audience that matters.