“I should never have hit snooze, ” I chide myself as I race to get ready for the day. “I have dishes to do, a blog post to write, clothes to put away, tomatoes to bring to school for one child, two school activities at two different times for two other children, a dental appointment, breakfast to get on the table, kids to get to school, meet with a friend, and I slept in,” I rehearse my failures to myself at 6:00 AM.
My heart squeezes tight and lifeless. “I need to do better,” I continue my internal dialog as the joy of the day slips away and I pick up guilt. My shoulders tense and my throat tightens. “Will I ever be enough? Will I ever get it right?” My thoughts swirl around collecting guilt in the past, wondering if I am messing up my kids in the present, and hoping in the future I will finally be enough. But the thought of being enough stifles me.
I feel as if I have a gorilla on my back. To be enough I would have to keep my house perfectly, have the organization thing down, never forget anything. I would need to balance the budget perfectly so it honored God, were we giving enough away? I would need to have a beautiful garden and cook only whole foods for my family. I would be able to write my book or do my speaking engagements all without interrupting my family’s life. I must attend every ball game, performance, and rehearsal. Assuring that everything was washed, dried, and put in its proper place.
The gorilla grows and takes a life of its own. Guilt gobbles up joy because I am not enough. I can’t do it. No self-help, new idea is ever going to make me enough.
“…Apart from Me [Jesus] you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalm 34:18
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
God never told us to do it all. We cannot be enough without Him, but He loves us broken, just as we are. He never intended us to walk around carrying guilt. That is why He sent Jesus. Not just for grace for sins, but grace for mistakes. We are not perfect, but God knew we wouldn’t be. He sent His Spirit to give us wisdom and His Son to take the penalty for our sin. Condemnation does not belong to those who are in Jesus.
So let’s lay down our guilt burden at the foot of the cross. Let’s turn our inner dialog into uplifting dialog. Let us humbly thank Him for the freedom we have in Christ and live in grateful obedience.
What guilt do you need to let go today?