Sometimes the goodness in our lives is partnered with guilt. Guilt that I have what you don’t. Guilt that my circumstances are better than yours.
What do you do when your prayers were answered with a yes, and someone else’s prayers were answered with a no? What do you do when you get the long end of the stick and someone else continually gets the short end? Oh we never talk about that, do we? We only speak up when we get the short end of that stick, so it’s almost uncharted territory to confess when we are actually the lucky ones.
Have you ever struggled because everything is so right in your world, while things in someone else’s world are so wrong? Have you ever been embarrassed to admit your blessings and hidden the goodness of your reality because it doesn’t seem fair in comparison?
ME TOO! All the time. And I believe God has something to say about this.
Our travels have brought us to the land of warmth and sunshine. Here I am in Orlando, Florida sporting a suntan while my friends are snowed in for the 2nd week in a row, dealing with frozen pipes, icy roads, power outages and irritable kids. That doesn’t seem fair now does it? My joy has literally been replaced by guilt every time I think about putting on that bikini and lay by the pool. Why am I so blessed when others aren’t? Isn’t it wrong of me to enjoy all of this when you have received the bitter cold? Would it make you feel better if I didn’t enjoy it?
But what do you have that I don’t? Do you have small children at home? Did you get to wake those babies up this morning? Maybe you even found one of them in your bed this morning. Did you get to hear their footsteps run through the kitchen?
Do you know what I would do to rewind time and have that again for today? Or how about the woman longing to have children, what would she give to have your ordinary Thursday morning? Your mundane is her dream. You have it every single day and she’s never had it for one day. What will your response be? Guilt because you are blessed? Shame because you have an abundance of what others have none of?
Romans 8:1 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
I know I am no longer guilty of my past sin. I can easily accept that as truth. But what about my current blessings? Am I condemned by what I DO have in comparison to what other’s do not?
NO. THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION.
Honey, stop feeling guilty for what you have been given. It is a work of the enemy to bring guilt to your blessings. You have been set free from your sins, but now you are held captive by your blessings? You’re playing little, not enjoying all you have been given because you feel guilty over it? I know that sounds insane, but it’s a game we play.
And if we play that game, we will forever be in a tailspin of what we have that others don’t and the guilt we feel over it.
Just this week I learned of a family who’s 12 year old daughter Molly died from a head injury. As I prayed for her aching mama and daddy, imaging the immeasurable pain in their loss, I felt guilty for sitting at a table with my husband where everything was good and right. How could I be happy when they were hurting so terribly? I decided to tone down my happy.
I have a friend named Kathlena who is battling brain cancer. This disease has turned her world upside down and she’s fighting to do the simplest things her healthy body once did without a thought. How is it fair that I woke up feeling so good? How can I joyfully carry on with my day doing a workout and yoga with a strong, healthy body when hers is fighting to even breathe? I will tone down my abilities.
I am condemned by my blessings. I am held captive by all that is good and right because the same is not true for others.
Who is this helping?
Who is this serving?
Psalm 22:3 tells us God is holy and enthroned on our praises. Your praise is where God dwells. When your guilt drowns out your praise, then honey, you are taking God off his throne in your life.
Doesn’t he deserve your praise? And in light of the reality of others, doesn’t he REALLY deserve your SPECIFIC praise?
Of course the enemy would prefer you to sulk in your guilt and shame over all your goodness instead of praising the almighty and unleashing his power in your life. If God is enthroned on your praises, wouldn’t it make sense the enemy is enthroned on your pity?
Really play this out and tell me if this makes sense … I have something you do not have. I feel bad because you don’t have it and I do. So, I’ve decided not to enjoy what I have to honor you.
I’m a daddy’s girl. Always have been, always will be. That man was one of my greatest blessings in my life, and I know that. Yet, I felt guilty for it often. I have a friend who grew up in the same small town as me and her home was a nightmare while mine was a fairytale. The man she called dad abused her. How is that fair? It’s not. She didn’t deserve that.
My Daddy died last year. I don’t get to call him anymore and laugh. I don’t get to raodtrip home to sit on his lap.
What about you … do you still have your Dad? Is he a good man? Could you call him today? Do you have time with him still? Do you feel guilty for what you have that I don’t? Would it make things better for me if you wouldn’t enjoy what you have because I no longer have it?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. If you have your Daddy, then there is nothing I would want more than for you to enjoy every moment you still have. If you have children at home, I would want you to stop every darn thing and just soak them in right now. If you have a young adult out finding their way in the world doing well who still wants to talk to you on the phone every day, then darn it I would want you to savor every second of that conversation!
My weather will be 85 and sunny today. On behalf of all those who woke up to another snow day, I want you to know I won’t waste this day in guilt. I will enjoy it all that much more because I know you would want me to.
Would you do the same for me? For every family who so desperately wants what you have? Would you drop the guilt over your blessings, and praise God for every detail of your reality that is so darn good?
There is no condemnation for you in Christ Jesus. That means for all you have done wrong in your life, and all that is so right in your life. No guilt here. Enjoy what you have been given and praise God for it!
Have you been given health today? Oh girl, what will you do with it?!!!!
Have you been given family today? Oh tell me you will make today special with them!!!!
Do you have sunshine today? Sister, soak it up.
Do you have a job you love? Do you have a car that runs? Do you have a warm shower? Oh it’s all so good. Look at all you have!
James 1:17 “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father.”
Your gift may be different than mine. Please don’t spend your time feeling guilty over your gift, and I won’t waste mine comparing to yours. Whatever is good and perfect today is a gift, let’s receive it, be grateful for it, and enjoy exactly what we have been given.
The enemy doesn’t get to attach his guilt to my gift. Make sure you’re protecting your gift too my sister. No guilt in the goodness you have received. We’re happy for you!
Whatever you have, I’m so happy for you. Now enjoy it with no guilt. Send up your praises to the giver of that gift. Remember, your praise is his throne. It’s where he sits and dwells. Don’t take that from him!