How to Be More than “Fine”

An Open and Opinionated Letter to Guilt

An Open and Opinionated Letter to Guilt

Dear Guilt,

You and I have known each other for quite some time now. My whole life, really. We've been close at times. But most often our relationship has been challenging.

For one thing, you're unpredictable. You show up at parties unannounced. You wake me up in the middle of the night. You sit down by me at awkward times when I'm trying to have a conversation with someone I love. 

And you're sneaky. You wear all sorts of disguises–humility, concern, even godliness. Just when I think I recognize you I find you get a new haircut, throw on a pair of shades, or dress up like someone else.

So, here's what I'm saying. I think it's time for us to part ways. Because really, Guilt, we aren't doing each other a whole lot of good. You push me around. I enable you. It's not healthy.

He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen I read this passage from a fabulous book called "He Loves Me!" by Wayne Jacobsen. Here's what he had to say about getting rid of you…

Until God disconnects you from the guilt and fear that drive your own performance, you will miss His love for you. How do you let guilt die? Endure it in His presence. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it will be enough. Stop doing what you do because you'll feel bad if you don't. When you feel guilt and condemnation roll over you like a late-afternoon thunderstorm, simply acknowledge that it is there and offer it to God."

My very wise friend also said this in an e-mail to me when we were talking about you…

Guilt and shame are not tools that God uses to get us to do something He wants us to do, but they are instruments Satan uses to move us away from truth. I think because they mirror conviction (which is a good thing) we think they are of God and that He must be trying to tell us something. But guilt and shame do not match up with the character of God. Conviction does.

I think what she's saying is that you're an imposter. And I've got no time for that sort of thing in my life. I want the real deal–real love, real peace, real joy.

So, Guilt, this is good-bye. You may try to visit but I'm letting you know the welcome mat is officially gone. And when you come you'll find your room is occupied by someone else who is much more loving, kind, and committed to my growth than you have ever been. Actually, I think I'll introduce you now…

"Guilt, meet Grace."

That should have happened a long time ago. It's really been the Father's plan all along.



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