Are you guilty?

There is a severe lack of guilt in our society today. We shift the blame; we deny culpability; we refuse to accept responsibility. We assuage each others tendency towards feeling guilty by agreeing they are not to blame.

We excuse, rationalise and justify our actions so we can quickly go back to feeling good about ourselves. It seems to me, now more than ever, that we are a society that is obsessed with feeling positive, happy, and ‘good’ about who we are. And this leaves little room for feeling guilty about anything.

In our world of ‘do what feels good, just don’t hurt anybody’, of ‘live and let live’, of our insatiable quest for ourselves, we can’t afford to feel remorse or guilt over our actions lest it moves us off the path to eternal happiness.

Guilt is to the soul what pain is to the body – an indicator that something is wrong, that we need to stop what we are doing and reassess.

But we’ve no time for guilt and it’s call to introspection; we’ve no time for anything that doesn’t lift us up, stroke our ego and tell us endless platitudes about ourselves and our ‘inherent’ goodness.

It’s no wonder the world pays little attention to the historical events of Good Friday.

Heaven help us if we should dwell on anything that confronts us with our tendency toward evil and sin.

Heaven help us if we listen when being told that we are not good, or that we need something outside ourselves to save us from ourselves.

Heaven help us indeed.

8 thoughts on “Are you guilty?

  1. I think you’re right that as a culture we are told that who ever we are is just fine, no matter the things we do. But we are also told in scripture to rejoice in hope and to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. I think its important to note the guilt we feel, and while good friday is important, it isn’t nearly as important as celebrating Jesus defeating sin and death so I can have a full and joyous life and a relationship with God. Jesus lives so I don’t have to stay in that place of guilt. I also think there is a difference between guilt and conviction.

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    • Yes, of course, but our modern day Christianity seems to circumnavigate the guilt altogether and get straight to the joy part. We cannot have that hope and joy without first recognising – and really feeling the weight of! – our sin. I’m all for celebrating the end result of the resurrection but we tend to skim over this important day and skip to the part that is more comfortable. It’s good to take stock and realise all over again exactly what we have been saved from.

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        • No problem 🙂 Here’s just two scriptures:

          John 16:8 – “When he comes he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgement.”

          And 2 Corinthians 7:9 & 10 says “….because your sorrow led you to repentance….vs 10..Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation…”

          Much of Paul’s teachings point out our sinfulness and need for the redemptive blood of Jesus. If you think about it logically, we simply cannot ask for forgiveness for something we don’t recognise as being wrong (think about any number of human interactions where this is also the case).

          It’s only through feeling guilty, examining our hearts and understanding we need forgiveness that we can truly accept it and go on to live in the freedom forgiveness brings. But the starting point is always, always, our recognition of our complete sinfulness. Without acknowledging and remembering our guilt (not living under condemnation but conviction, as you said) we soon become arrogant and full of pride. It’s only once we truly understand and can accept our fallen state that we can live a life of joy and hope because of what HE has done for us.

          (By the way, the thrust of the post was about the ‘world’s’ reticence to hear the Gospel message even on Good Friday because it doesn’t make us ‘feel’ good and doesn’t fit in with our hyper-positive ethos as a society. Having said that, it’s still necessary for Christians to be mindful of our sinfulness and not become complacent about the forgiveness we’ve been given through grace.)

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  2. Guilt? My God.

    Personally…there are things I will never talk about, but that bring me awake, screaming. They were sanctioned, they were ordered, they were necessary, and they almost destroyed my soul.

    That guilt has been the spur to the action that is the center of my life – saving the lives I can. And being kind.

    Collectively, though…we’re in pretty bad shape. We routinely elect politicians who stand down when faced with outrages abroad. Rwanda could have been prevented.

    We could have stood in the gap and prevented the slaughter of Bosnian Muslims.

    And 18,000 kids die of starvation every DAY. That’s six million per year. Familiar number?

    We vote for people to represent us, and they make sure that they get to the trough first. They make sure that their friends can afford a couple of houses, and a really comfortable set of cars.

    Well, gee, there’s just no money for the starving kids in this budget. Maybe the next fiscal year…but oh, wait!

    Chicago needs a new planetarium.

    Guilty.

    That’s us.

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