I believe that there is another deadly sin to add to the list of all lists. That sin is guilt.
I don’t believe there is any place for guilt in our hearts. Not a single space.
It doesn’t belong there.
I have come to fully accept and believe that by allowing guilt to take up precious space in our hearts, we are committing a crime against ourselves.
I struggle with feeling guilty about anything and everything–so much so that I’m actually seriously considering going to counseling to get a handle on it. It’s gotten so out of control in the past few years and now that I want it gone, I need some help with proceeding further.
Through this struggle, I’ve done a lot of thinking. I’ve talked to a lot of people. Some people say they don’t bother with guilt, “Let it go!”
To them I ask, how?
Some people say,”Guilt is good. It keeps your actions in check. If it weren’t for guilt we’d make more bad choices.”
To them I say, how is that good? How is carrying any kind of burden good for your soul? How is it good for you or anyone else around you?
After doing a lot of pondering and praying, the answer has finally come to me: Sharlee, there is no room in your heart for guilt. I made that heart for better things. Your heart is meant for a higher purpose.
I do feel that rather than guilt, there is room for sorrow or regret (for lack of a better word), but only in three cases:
1. When you are not true to yourself
2. When you’ve intentionally done something hurtful to someone else
3.**If are a religious individual, when you’ve sinned.
Those are the only three times that you should allow yourself to feel sorrowful and repentant. Beyond that, we need to be so focused on improvement that we don’t have time and energy to waste looking back on what we could have or should have done.
How would your time be better spent? Focusing on mistakes from the past? Or looking ahead to improvement in the future?
The answer is quite clear.
I once had an epiphany in the middle of Sunday School and shared it with the group…”Envy is so dangerous because you are never satisfied. What will make you stop envying. When you have more? When you have an equal amount? When you are recognized for this? And yet, even then, even if we put a price on it, we raise the price, because being better is never enough. Having more is never enough.”
Envy is never satisfied. Neither are any of the other seven deadly sins.
I personally believe that those 7 sins are so destructive for that very reason. They are addictive in nature because there is no end to them. They don’t have a finish line…there is nothing that can satisfy them.
And there is nothing a person can do to fulfill guilt.
Which is precisely why it is dangerous. It turns your focus to yourself rather than others. It threatens you with feelings of unworthiness. It stops progress in its tracks.
I stand firm in my belief that absolutely no good comes from guilt and it is high time any of those suffering from its effects, give guilt the boot.