I caught the bug last week.
No, not the stomach bug. Not the creeping sinus crud that strikes our home about this time every year, either. The mommy guilt bug crept up behind me and bit me hard.
You know the mommy guilt bug, don’t you? It starts when you wake up feeling tired and cranky right along with your children. Tempers are short. Kids fuss. Words snap. The house is a mess, dinner is a disaster, and the whole goal of your existence becomes getting them in bed. Then, once the house is quiet and you’re alone with your thoughts, it starts:
I should be more patient.
Why can’t I control my temper?
The kids would be in better moods if I fixed healthier foods for them.
I’d be a better mom if I didn’t let them watch so much T.V. We should read more books and play more games and make macaroni necklaces or something.
Cindy Lou Who always keeps her house so clean. Why can’t I do that?
I feel like such a failure.
Your thoughts keep cycling, the weight piles up, and before you know it you’re curled up under the covers with a box of Kleenex. Guilt paralyzes and entraps us.
And that’s just how Satan wants us to be. The name “Satan” is actually a title: ”The Satan.” It means “the accuser.” And that’s just what Satan does: he accuses us. Those words running through your head like “failure,” “disappointment,” “less-than,” “not good enough”–those are his tools. He wants us feeling guilty because guilt keeps us from seeking God. Conviction points us to God in repentance; guilt makes us feel that we aren’t worthy of God’s love. Guilt convinces us we have to fix ourselves, that we first need to get ourselves together so we can make things right with God. And that’s one thing Satan knows is impossible. We listen to the sweet, seductive voice of shame and it whispers death to our souls.
Jesus came to give us life. His death canceled guilt and shame. It’s grace. We can’t earn it, we don’t deserve it, but Jesus did it for us anyway because of his great, great love that surpasses all knowledge. Satan condemns, but Jesus intercedes for us. More than that, he has sent the Holy Spirit as our Advocate–the one who defends us when the world condemns. He is for us.
So when you feel the slow pull of the circling waters of guilt, don’t let them pull you down. You are covered by his grace. Stand on that truth.
You are not a failure. You are a new creation.
You are not worthless. You are a child of God.
You are not a slave. You are redeemed.
You are not less-than. You are God’s masterpiece.
Grace is the antidote to guilt. Walk in his grace this week.
Have you heard the voice of guilt? What keeps you from falling into the cycle of guilt and self-condemnation?
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