May 12th 2016 No comments yet
Guilt is an ever-following, ever-faulting shadow that is always whispering, “You are doing it wrong.” It follows me to my Facebook feed, where a stream of articles claim that from tying my shoes to giving my kids a bath, I’ve been doing it wrong. My whole life. I’ve been boiling my eggs incorrectly. And not only am I washing my hair wrong, I’m using the wrong shampoo. In fact, I should probably just pour mineral water and essential oils on it and then sprint down an anointed forest trail to dry it.
Society is guilt-laden. Commercial and social marketing thrives on it—psychologically steering you to the mentality that an incorrect purchase or decision will reduce you and your entire family’s well-being to shambles. Like the Greek mythological figure of Sisyphus, we perpetually push our proverbial choices uphill only for them to roll back down in a jumble of guilt and self-doubt. How can we find confidence in a world that seems to only judge you—and find you lacking?
Take a step back for a minute. I am sure there is some trick to tying running shoes that I have missed, but for at least 35 years of my life, my sneakers have stayed on fairly well by the works of two loops and a bunny running through a log…or something to that effect. And except for a few shameful years in the late 90s with the use of too much hair gel, my coiffure has not taken a life of its own and threatened others. This leads me to think that even though I may not be doing things “their” way, I’m at least getting something done.
Feeling guilt is an unproductive process. It degrades, humiliates, wrinkles up your sense of joy, and smothers it with regret and doubt. Second thoughts start, and what once seemed like a simple decision gets blown way out of proportion. Sweet memories are reduced to just another “should have,” and the things that you once were thankful for become burdensome.
God did not create life solely for the purpose of overwrought metacognition. We have a purpose to fulfill—God’s purpose. Stop thinking about your thinking. Just get stuff done and live your life.
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them” (Romans 8:28, NLT).
Instead of guilt, adopt a sense of purpose. Don’t worry about what your newsfeed is trying to tell you; instead, remember that you are forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice. That is all you need to focus on. Besides, who really cares about a boiled egg anyway?
Written by Susan Jacobson, Staff Writer and Designer
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