Have you ever seen a child or a person stammering when he or she lied or done something wrong? When they walk, they look here and there… They speak with their eyes looking at the ground… They avoid other’s questions or interrogation…
It is our conscience that makes us feel like that. Our conscience is the only thing that speaks to us when we are all alone. It is a gift from God. A clear CONSCIENCE is a true friend which always speaks the truth and shows the things that are good and bad. When we are at fault, our guilt conscience makes us struggle to face people. As our guilt consciousness creates a barrier between us with the people around us. Guilt doesn’t allow us to live or walk or speak freely or at liberty. It binds us with a guilty feeling. It takes away our independence. It captivates our mind and soul.
But it is important for all of us to understand our guilt, because it can build us as well as can ruin us completely.
True guilt always leads us to true repentance. True repentance leads us to confessing of our misdeeds or sin and which ultimately leads to forgiveness and restoration… Restoration from being guilty, from a strained relationship and restored to have a clean conscience.
But there is something called false guilt according to June Hunt, one of my favourite personalities among all, who is an author, counsellor and the founder of ‘Hope for the Heart’ organisation that has been helping numerous people in desperation.
She warns about a few false guilt feelings which should not be within our hearts troubling us till the end…
She warns –
- False Guilt is based on self-condemning feelings that you have not lived up to your own expectations or those of someone else.
- False Guilt arises when you blame yourself, even though you’ve committed no wrong, or even though you’ve confessed and turned from your sin.
- False Guilt keeps you in bondage to three destructive weapons – shame, fear, and anger.
- False Guilt, ironically, is not resolved by confession. (The past keeps coming up again and again)
False guilt can lead a person to depression and spiritual paralysis. False guilt tends to be very “me-centered,” rather than God-centered. And it makes the person feel that God has left him or her.
Now, this is alarming and false guilt consciousness can be fatal. But in my opinion whether is true or false guilt it should be dealt carefully and needed to be given up at once or else it will literally torment the person day and night and ruin his or her life.
It is not very easy to get rid of guilts. It stays like, forever…
Usually, when I struggle with guilt, a true guilt and I have the realisation that I have wronged a person, I search for opportunity to ask forgiveness from him and restore my relationship with him or her and go guilt free. Trust me, you need guts to ask forgiveness. It is good that we have plenty of options to say sorry these days. Previously, we had only two options – face the person or write a note. But these days, we have Whatsapp, email, messenger and many more options to ask forgiveness genuinely. But nothing can replace the joy of restoration when we are in persons.
Many a times, I have struggled with false guilt, feeling responsible of something which was not in my control. There was a sister like friend who committed suicide and I felt guilty of not paying attention to her when she wanted to share her heart. For quite a long time, I was troubled but later I shifted that guilt into a responsibility or task in hand to train myself well to be sensitive to the needs of people. And I succeeded in my endeavour by God’s grace.
You heard it right, God’s grace is the best cure to our guilt. Once our vertical relationship is smooth and free flowing, our horizontal relationships become alright automatically.
Lastly, if we really want to go guilt-free or lead a guilt free life then we should follow the instruction given as under:
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things; center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart.”
Let’s take responsibility of living with a renewed mind and conscience by focussing on things of higher values, following which are good and live a transformed and guilt-free life.