Guilt comes from a feeling of responsibility for a certain act of wrongdoing. Certain convictions come from the Holy Spirit's efforts to turn us away from our sin and guide us to our heavenly Father. But it's important to note that not all guilt stems from ungodly behavior.
False guilt, which is not prompted by sin, can surface for a variety of reasons, such as disappointment in one's own performance, a sense of shame over past events, or criticism by others for unmet expectations. A pattern of rejection or abuse from childhood can also trigger this emotion. False guilt is a powerful weapon Satan uses to direct our thoughts away from God. As long as he can keep us distracted by these false feelings the longer we will stay alienated from God for a reason that doesn't really even exist.
Whether it's false or real guilt, the emotion of guilt itself divides our minds, drains us of our energy, and creates a sense of insecurity. If it is allowed to linger, we can begin to have doubts about God's goodness and His love for us. Depression and hopelessness may follow. To cope, some people develop compulsive behaviors in an attempt to replace self-reproach with almost anything more pleasurable. Excessive amounts of shopping, eating, television, Internet, and physical activities are fairly common ways that people use to try to push away self-condemning thoughts.
Dealing quickly with guilt is essential. We need to acknowledge the emotion to the Lord, and work to identify the reason behind it. If we've violated God's laws, we need to ask for His forgiveness and take the necessary steps to change the behavior that brought about the guilt. If we discover false guilt, we need to confess it and ask God to adjust our thinking on the matter until our perspective matches His. In either case, praise Him because He has promised to forgive His children's sins, adjust our thinking when necessary, and remove any guilt we may feel in the matter. God does not want us to live in guilt and He has provided a way for us to get out from under the feeling of guilt no matter where the feelings originate. In Christ, we can be "more than conquerors" (Roman 8:27) if we trust Him to set matters straight.
When I first got up this morning Hogback Mountain was crystal clear and now I see that a slight haze of smoke has moved into the area. I will certainly be happy when the firefighters get the fires put out here in California. They are making great progress and I take my hat off to them for all their skill and hard work. It's amazing that puny Man can extinguish a forest fire in the first place. With flames reaching 200 feet in the air it's amazing that we can take a stand against it and actually win the battle given enough time. Yesterday's high wasn't too bad and I hope today's won't be either. I really have problems with the heat. I don't like it at all.
My Portulaca is blooming like crazy out on the deck. I was amazed at the variety of colors this morning when I had my quiet time with the Lord. And one plants puts out so many different colored flowers. But they are just beautiful out there. My Marigold and Petunia are going strong too. I watered them when we got home from the barbecue last night because I hadn't watered them the night before so I was sure they could use the moisture. I can't believe I actually have flowers. We've been here seven years and this is the first year that anything has lived in that hot, hot sun. I'm very grateful to M for finding the portulaca. And I had been a tad disappointed when he had brought home the portulaca because I wanted pansies. Now I'm so happy with my flowers. I still have two plants out front at the corner of the garage that seem to survive every year but these are the first flowers on the deck we've ever had and it's amazing the transformation that has taken effect out there on the deck where we have our chairs arranged just by their blooms.
I have one chapter to read in The Holy Spirit and then I will finish up a few other things and then move into Beth Moore's book. This last half of Billy Graham's book on the Holy Spirit has been a pleasure to read. The first half dealt with all the technical aspects and that was a bit of a struggle to wade through. Then once that was all out of the way I was able to kick back and enjoy the rest of the book. I still have another free book coming in the mail and I can't for the life of me remember what it's about. Guess I'll have to wait until it gets here, won't I.
The barbecue at church last night was really nice. And what a turn out! There were so many people that we were scrounging around to get enough tables set up so everyone could sit down and eat. M and I had a great time. Heartstrings (violins and keyboard) gave us some old songs and everyone who could remember the words sang along with the music. The patio where we had the event is just such a nice area. It is almost completely shaded from the hot afternoon sun by out big trees and the church building itself. It's a large area which is a good think since we had so many people there. We all sang happy birthday to Leo (his 56th birthday is today) and he walked around beaming because he was the birthday boy! I'm so thankful that the Lord has brought Leo into my life. He is such a blessing. He's always so eager to help with tasks and he does a good job at them too. He works part time at the grocery store doing janitorial type work.
I succeeded in getting my chores done this morning before starting on my blog so I'm not sitting here feeling guilty that I don't have them done. Last summer I was always so good to get them done before I blogged and this summer it has been quite questionable whether or not I get them done first. I do have responsibilities to take care of besides my blog. I still need to run the vacuum cleaner today. I'll do that as soon as I finish this blog. M's going to make Tamale Pie for dinner so I don't have to cook. His last Tamale Pie was so good and I hope this one will be too. We found some old meat in the freezer and needed to use it up for something. It was cheap meat and not good for burgers or meatloaf so we thought of another Tamale Pie.
My blogger is showing that the autosave has failed with my post so I have to hope that it will publish my post when I click on the icon. Last time I had a problem with my server, today it's a problem with my blogger. Seems like there's always something to question whether my blog will actually publish after all my time spent typing out my post. I'm going to cut this short and sign off for this time. M is working on a couple projects and he needs my help so I'm just going to see if it will publish after all my work. As I said last time, Life is a Gamble. Until next time...