I should be able to accomplish more...Other moms do.
My house is always a mess...If I were more organized and more creative it would look better.
I want to do some fun crafts with the kids, but I don't ever have enough time. Maybe one day I'll get it together.
Look at all she's able to do with 5 kids AND homeschooling... I guess I'm just not made to do this.
I need a nap because the baby kept me up all night, but I should be able to keep going. I'm just being lazy.
She works AND has kids AND she still is able to workout every day. What am I doing wrong? I'll never look like that.
Her kids are always so healthy because they eat, like, perfectly. I'm probably screwing my kids up for life.
Any of this resonate for you? It does for me. This and a whole lot more. I bet you could add a few more of your own? Attacks and criticisms specifically designed to keep you worn down, discouraged and distracted: Designed just for YOU to have you walk through life weighed down by GUILT and self-critical LIES.
I believe that sometimes we think that guilt is a gift from God to help us know when we've done wrong. I'm no theologian, but by my account, it's not. When God needs to deal with me, I feel convicted. I feel absolutely certain and suddenly aware that a thing I did, said, have done or am doing is WRONG, and God's not ok with it. Confirmation comes in a quick search of scripture. This conviction leads me to repentance and once I've repented, I'm capable of moving on. I feel freedom as He wipes my transgressions from even HIS memory.
"I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins. " Isaiah 43:25
But guilt is a different beast. It's like a little nagging cloak of darkness that never gets removed or relieved by repentance. As a matter of fact, most things I feel guilty about are not things I'd even feel repentant about.
I feel repentant about losing my temper, being impatient, having judgemental thoughts, gossiping, disrespecting my husband, being in SIN...I feel GUILTY about not having a big birthday party for my kids every year, not being able to participate in all the activities they would like to participate in, for not keeping the house as clean as I *should*, for not losing the baby weight fast enough, for not managing money as well as others seem to, for not making time to exercise, for forgetting to teach a kid a particular math skill, for messy closets and too much unused curriculum, for not cooking supper every night, for eating at a fast food restaurant three times this week... The list goes ON AND ON Y'ALL.
The first half of this list, the convicted part- well those are items that are in direct conflict with scripture. They are a standard set for us by Christ, and therefore, we offend the Holy Spirit and feel CONVICTED to repent.
The second part of that list... Well those are worldly standards.
We are living a life oriented to attain standards set by Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and the lies Satan tells us about the Mom down the street who actually has "it" together. And when these standards remain unmet, they leave us feeling like failures: unattractive, ineffective, disorganized, or lazy.
The clencher to the standards we're always striving for is this: having "it" together is always changing, always shifting, always just outside our reach.
Our God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. His grace is always within our reach.
God calls us to turn from sin, confess it and receive the forgiveness that's already been bought for us.
Gratitude frees us. Guilt condemns us.
Gratitude redeems us. Guilt accuses us.
Gratitude allows us to love freely in grace and mercy. Guilt keeps our hearts and hands tied down.
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
Gratitude opens our eyes to blessings and potential. Guilt sets our eyes on not-enough and all of our perceived limitations.
Gratitude has us look upward and outward. Guilt has us focused inward and downward.
Gratitude says we aren't enough, but HE is. Guilt says we are insufficient and incapable of being more.
Gratitude says rest. Guilt says keep trying.
Gratitude says the cross was satisfactory. Guilt says the cross was not enough.
When we are convicted, it's true. When we are guilty, it's a lie.
When we are convicted, it comes from God. When we are guilty, it comes from Satan (The Accuser).
The reason I'm writing this is because I need to be able to more readily identify the attacks of the enemy on my joy... And maybe you do too? I frequently get bogged down in guilt by constantly comparing, so I want to intentionally repurpose my focus.
Christ was enough. The cross was enough. I am enough. His mercy is enough... For each of us right where we are. Today, yesterday and tomorrow.
Unlike the lies Satan spins, I'm here to tell you that guilt is a choice and gratitude is a choice, just like love, faith, trust and obedience are NOT feelings but are all choices. When we are feeling condemned, let's ask ourselves: Is this repentable conviction OR is it a critical lie of Satan? If it's conviction, let's confess our sin and turn away from it, thanking God for the grace He has covered us in through Christ. If it's guilt, let's send it on its way... Turning our focus outward and upward, thanking God for every gift in our lives. Lets purpose to find the joy and dig in deep.
"What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! What joys when sins are covered over! What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record." Psalm 32:1-2 TLB
We don't have money for new shoes asap? No guilt. Thank you God for their growing bodies and the upcoming provision to clothe them.
Didn't get around to doing the dishes or washing your husband's pants for work? No guilt. Thank you Lord for the timer on my phone so I can manage time better tomorrow. Thank you Lord for Febreeze.
Get snarky with your tween over one of her looks? No guilt. Thank you Lord that she's here and healthy, and I did some right things today. Thank you Lord for the better day tomorrow.
Blow the budget this month? Thank you Lord for teaching me a better way to steward money as I move forward and for being our constant source of provision.
When it comes down to it, comparison is a guise for selfishness. Satan wants us focused on ourselves, even if it's through condemnation, so we aren't effective at living the ABUNDANT LIFE we have promised to us.
If he can dampen my effectiveness, keeping me focused on all of my own failures, then he can probably keep me pretty irritable, short-tempered and unloving so that I slowly tear down my own home my own two hands.
Choosing to thank God for the good in every perceived shortcoming puts the glory and the focus right back where it belongs, AND it frees our hearts and minds to become the Mom that we are called to be: a Mom who is thoroughly and sufficiently and WHOLLY covered by the Grace of God.
Let's walk this out together. Let's begin to grow in freedom, choosing gratitude over guilt. Every. Time.
Join me in sharing your gratitude > guilt story by using #gratitudeoverguilt.