The partners of destruction

By Dave Henning / January 26, 2024

“Shame and guilt go hand in hand, one feeding the other.  They are partners of destruction, eroding our lives. . . .  Few emotions can distort our mirror and make us feel as dirty, ugly, unworthy, and unlovable as guilt does.  And we all struggle with it — no exceptions.”- Chip Ingram

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. . . .  But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace you have been saved.”- Ephesians 2:1-2, 4-5 (ESV)

In Chapter 9 (“The Lie of Guilt”) of Discover Your True Self, Chip Ingram takes a look at Ephesians 2:1-3.  Pastor Ingram explains that this chapter explains our root problem with guilt and God’s solution for it.  However, Chip cautions, the problem of guilt goes much deeper that most of us imagine.

Consequently, Pastor Ingram notes the extreme vocabulary Paul uses in this passage.  For example, the word dead literally means “separated.”  Because sin separates us from God, only divine intervention provides the remedy.

In addition, the word Paul uses for sin means “missing the mark.”  Most significantly, the word originally referred to someone throwing a spear or shooting an arrow that fell short of the target.

G. K. Chesterton, the British journalist and theological thinker, profoundly impacted C. S. Lewis.  Once someone asked Chesterton what was wrong with the world.  Chesterton succinctly replied, “I am.”  In other words, every human being shares responsibility.  For the problems of the world find their origin in the human heart.

In conclusion, Chip underscores:

“Contrary to what we’ve been told, human beings are not basically good.  Most of us try to be good, but we inevitably turn away from God. . . .  We each have a tendency to seek our own self-interests when we can.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you counter the partners of destruction, shame and guilt?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The root feeds the whole tree”

About the author

Dave Henning

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