Sunday, December 12, 2010

False guilt

Guilt. It is a very strange thing. So often I find myself feeling guilty for things that I have no idea why I feel guilty for. I find myself feeling sorry for the one who wronged someone rather than the person they wronged. Isn’t that strange. Even when someone does something wrong to me, I am much quicker to blame myself for “provoking” the wrong rather than be angry at them for committing the act. I am not sure why this is, I just know that my heart immediately jumps to the perpetrator rather than the victim. Perhaps it is because I know that oftentimes the one who perpetrates has been a victim in some way themselves. Even concerning my own victimization, it was a lot easier for me to forgive the perpetrator than it was for me to forgive myself.

You might think, a victim, what do they have to forgive themselves for. Well, part of the victim mentality is that the perpetrator uses anything and everything you have ever done wrong to make the victim believe that they deserve anything and everything they are enduring. That someone what goes around comes around, and somehow this is “their” fault. It is a horrendous viscious cycle, and this guilt is often the reason people stay in an abusive relationships despite horrendous circumstances. They believe they deserve it, every single ounce of it.

The thing is, it is not real guilt, it is false guilt. There is such a thing a real guilt, guilt that comes from God. Guilt that drives us to repentance of sins, but is immediately removed once repentance is acted out. It should not hang around like a cloud once forgiven. Guilt that moves around like a rain cloud, following us wherever we go, and constantly raining on every parade, that is false guilt. False guilt puts you at risk for removing things you never needed to remove. It puts you at risk for coughing out your very soul, and handing it to another because they have made you believe you are worth nothing. False guilt makes you believe that everything you are is ugly, and you must do everything you can to cover yourself up. False guilt can make you hate yourself, and has even driven people to believe that if they simply removed themselves from the equation everything would be better. False guilt is not from God.

Despite all circumstances, I can assure you of one thing, God does not want you to walk around with a cloud of false guilt over your head. And another thing, this cloud is somewhat difficult to remove. Depending on how long it has been there, it has had ample time to build and build and build, layer upon layer. And it will take time to remove, layer by layer by layer. But when it is gone, you can see the sun. It is a beautiful thing when your vision is no longer clouded by false guilt, and though it takes time to dismantle the cloud, you and God can do it. God never meant for you to carry this cloud around, and when we are willing to let it go and hand it over, bit by bit, we will see Him and His love a little more clearly, bit by bit. We will begin to understand His forgiveness more, and that when He says you are forgiven, He means it.


  1. Fabulous post and much needed. Thank you!

  2. This is so good. I have to share how you were talking straight to me. I have had some serious family issues of late. I wont go into details.

    Sunday, there was a moment where my perpetrator was in the same room as 3 members of my support group. I read the anger on their faces and in their eyes. I listened quietly to their passive aggressive and backhanded remarks, and my face hung lower and lower as the minutes of discomfort ticked by. I carried the guilt for my perpetrator. I felt the shame. Although these members were not angry or upset with me, I felt like I had betrayed them or that I had shamed them for my involvement in the situation and attack.

    While they were saying, "How could you hurt our Kendra" I was saying, "How could I let this happen, Why didn't I see before, and Why do I still love and care for someone who mistreats me, my children, my God... mmmmmmm......

    Thank you for being a voice to me today.

  3. Kendra, you are such an amazing woman! Thank you so much for sharing that with me. I'm constantly amazed at how God can use my ramblings to speak to someone else. I totally identify with what you are saying, and still carry around the same false guilt and shame at times. One book that really helped me turn the corner though was "How to Forgive Yourself, TOTALLY" by RT Kendall. An amazing book! You might want to pick it up, it really gave me some insight as to why God never meant for me to carry around the weight I beleived I deserved. Love you girl! Blessings! Stephanie