Thursday, July 25, 2013

Cancel the Guilt Trip

The story is told of a man driving past an insane asylum.  As he did, he got a flat tire.  As he pulled over and started to work on the tire one of the patients sat by the fence watching him.  The man took out his jack, tire iron, etc.  He began to loosen the lug nuts and remove them.  He removed the tire and accidentally kicked the lug nuts and they fell into the sewer drain.  He was at a loss for words.  Without the lug nuts he couldn’t put on the spare.  The man behind the fence said, “Mister, why don’t you use one lug nut off each wheel and it will be enough to get you to a service station.”  The driver said, “That’s a great idea. Thanks! By the way, what are you doing in a place like this?”  To which the man replied, “I’m crazy, but I’m not stupid!”
One thing that will drive us crazy is guilt.  Guilt is an emotion that hurts and hampers many.  Guilt is that feeling of sorrow and regret over wrong behavior.  In the movie “The Mission” Robert De Niro plays a man who kills his brother in a jealous rage.  He takes asylum in America at a mission.  Because of what he has done he is instructed to carry a heavy pack to do his penance.  He feels terrible yet he doesn’t know what to do with his sin and the shame that came with it.

At times we all feel that way.  Some are tethered about by some transgression.  Some are dealing with guilt over things done years ago.  Guilt hurts us in so many ways.  It damages our relationships.  We can’t get close to others because we feel bad about the past.  Guilt also keeps us stuck in the past.  We play our sins over and over again in our minds.  Someone has said,” Guilt cannot change the past and worry cannot change the future but it sure will make you miserable today”.

The worst trip you will ever take is the guilt trip.  God is a God of forgiveness.  In the book of Isaiah He says, “Come now, let us reason together.  Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool”.

That scripture reminds us that God is willing to forgive us if we ask him.  And once we have we need to forgive ourselves.  It has been said to err is human but to forgive is divine.  Oh!  How true!

See ya Sunday!

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