How do you get off a guilt trip? I have no problem getting myself on one, but getting off is tough. It seems that I mess up even when I don't mean to mess up and more often than I care to know. It seems that even when I have the best intentions and purposes, it winds up backfiring. Recently, I got mad at my sweetheart kitty. His morning meowing was starting to drive me crazy. He had been fed, loved on, petted, played with, and talked to. But it wasn't enough. Well, morning is my devoted time to the Lord. Usually Kitten Boy will fall asleep while I pray and read my Bible. But not on this day. He just would not be quiet.
So, I got angry and put him outside where it was raining like crazy. He stayed on the back step where he wouldn't get wet and just stared in the backdoor. I instantly got on a lovely guilt trip. However, as I went back to my prayer time, the Holy Spirit seemed to say that I needed to focus on this guilt trip. Why was I feeling guilty? I had thrown the cat outside in the yecky weather. No, The Holy Spirit wanted me to get to the sin of the guilt trip...the cat would be fine outside, so, why was I on this guilt trip? Focus, Alice. It was easy...I felt guilty for my sin of getting angry. That was the problem. I admit that I have allowed the sin of anger to once again rear its ugly head in my life. It was a bad sin that I had dealt with a couple of decades ago, but realized that I had let it come back and control my emotions.
I confessed and repented of my sin right then and there. Whenever I am now tempted to get angry (which is still quite often), I use God's Word to fight it, instead of giving in and then winding up on another guilt trip.
Then, last night, I was getting on one of the worse guilt trips, the kind that make you so upset that you just want to cry, you just want to hide, you just want to run-away from life. I felt that I had unintentionally hurt a very good friend. She didn't say anything to make me think it, but I just sensed it. (Sometimes I really hate my overactive imagination.) I won't go into all of the details, just suffice it to say that I felt horrid when I went to bed. My brain would not stop feeling guilty. I even tried to focus on the true problem, but I couldn't think of a sin. What the Holy Spirit revealed to me was that I need to really pray and seek God's will before I do anything that is "out of the norm". It is a good lesson that I need to learn.
This morning I was able to put this new lesson into practice. I was getting ready to do something, that in all likelihood I will wind up doing anyways, but I hadn't taken the time to pray about it and to seek God's will in the matter. It just happened that I had something else that I was in the middle of doing and it needed my immediate attention, so I wasn't able to finish doing what I had started to do. And then my beloved came home from the gym and told me to wait before I acted. Praise God.
So, I am thankful for guilt trips, for the Holy Spirit who is trying to teach me a new lesson, and for the lessons themselves...even when they aren't very fun.