“There is a guilt that sits in the soul like a concrete block and causes a person to feel bad for being alive. There is guilt that says, I did bad. And then there is a guilt that concludes, I am bad (emphasis author’s).”- Max Lucado
“That evening [Adam and Eve] heard the sound of God walking in the garden; and they hid themselves among the trees.’- Genesis 2:25 (TLB)
In Chapter 3 (“Rejoice in the Lord’s Mercy”) of Anxious for Nothing, Max Lucado notes that while guilt frenzies the soul, grace calms it. Whether guilt results from a moment or a season of life, a harsh consequence occurs. Anxiety.
However, Pastor Lucado stresses, we must go deeper than the typical list of anxiety triggers. As Max wryly states: “Guilt drove the truck, but anxiety bounced in the flatbed.” And just as Adam and Eve didn’t know how to process their failure, neither do we. Therefore, Pastor Lucado describes nine sophisticated ways (as opposed to hiding in the bushes) that we process our guilt. Max discusses the first four ways today,
- Numb it. Alcohol, drugs, affairs – all ways to numb guilt. Yet, as Pastor Lucado underscores, while guilt disappears during happy hour, it reappears when we get home.
- Deny it. When we deny, we pretend we never stumbled at all. Furthermore, we concoct a plan to cover up our bad choice and then sustain it with lies. Thus, our goal becomes prolonging the charade as long as possible.
- Minimize it. Rather than admit our sin, we rationalize it. We just (a) lost our way; (b) got caught up in the moment; (c) took the wrong path; or (d) experienced a lapse in judgment.
- Bury it. Here we keep ourselves busy in order to bury the problem. As Max humorously observes, “The busier we stay, the less time we spend with the people we have come to dislike ourselves.”
Today’s question: What concrete block of guilt weighs down your soul? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Grace restores life to our souls”