Long, long ago when I was an oh-so-wise college student who pretty much knew everything, I remember someone once saying, “Guilt is a useless emotion.”
“Yeah!” I remember thinking with the fervor of a warrior about to embark on a battle.
I knew all about guilt. And I still do.
And once I became a mother? I experienced a whole new level of guilt.
There was a time not so long ago when I would discount guilt because, after all, it’s a useless emotion.
But then I realized that the Holy Spirit can communicate with us through guilt.
False guilt, the guilt that has no conscious and is the kind of guilt the well-meaning person talked to me about when I was in college, is the “bad” kind.
On the other hand, true guilt comes from God as a warning to us when we are in sin. As Karen states on page 144, “It is intended to make us want to stop, grieve for how we have dishonored Him, and repent.”
It’s when we feel the true guilt, the guilt from the Holy Spirit, that we need to stand up and take notice.
Maybe it’s an inappropriate flirtation at work. Or the stretch of the truth of how much you spent at Kohl’s last month. Or maybe it’s the pill addiction that is slowly choking the life out of you.
On page 146, Karen shares, “Sin always causes you to justify your action and deceives you into thinking you’re an exception and your situation is unique. You’re not – and it’s not.”
I’ve seen this happen with even the most well-meaning of people.
“Oh, my flirtation with this man is harmless. I would never act on it. It’s no big deal. Stop overreacting.”
“Well, he has unrealistic expectations of how far I can stretch a dollar so until he gets a clue, I’ll just leave out some of what I’m truly spending.”
“I have complete control over taking these pills. I am not addicted.”
Sin comes from Satan, the great deceiver, so we can conclude that sin is sneaky and deceptive – just like it’s creator.
When we feel powerless against the sin causing us true guilt, then it’s time to bring it to the light and pray for God to take it.
And you might have to do so many times or you may only have to do it once – everyone is on a different path.
But I do know this: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9
His power is made perfect in our weakness.
Chapter Sixteen, entitled “Suitable Helper” is an eye-opener – we learn that the Hebrew word God used to describe woman as man’s helper is ezer. Everytime the word ezer appeared in the Bible, it was always regarding God helping us in affiliation with swords, shields, deliverance, salvation, and hope.
Ezer is obviously not used to describe a meek and silent doormat of a woman. Yet this is the world’s stereotype of submission.
The rest of the chapter discusses ways we can be helpers to our husband and what to do when 1) we don’t feel like helping and 2) when we’ve been disrespected by our husband. (She provides a great example on page 155.)
So for our discussion today, pick one (or however many you want!) to answer in the comment section:
1. In what ways do you think you help your husband? In what ways does he help you?
2. Share about a time when you experienced false guilt and true guilt.
3. Have you ever felt powerless against a sin? How did you overcome it?
4. Share anything that caught your attention from either Chapter Fifteen or Sixteen.
We’ll discuss Chapter 17 next week – our last week!!!