Happiness, sympathy, anger, fear, worry, guilt. Mankind was provided all of these emotions through creation. They each have their season in our daily lives. Yet each can be abused and also be the source of self-abuse. In my experience, the two emotions that have been most painful in the past are “worry” and “guilt.”
Sometimes a little worry can be a friend. For instance, a little worry can lead to behavior that will spur us on to complete a project on time. It is when we dwell on our worry that can be harmful.
I have been reading the New Testament book of Luke, Chapter 12 today. Chapter 12 seems to deal with priorities. Seeking the Kingdom of God over worldly concerns. I was especially impressed with Luke 12:25 as it pertains to worry:
“And which of you by being overly anxious and troubled with cares can add a cubit to his stature or a moment [unit] of time to his age [the length of his life]?” Amplified Bible.
Sometimes it seems that as we tread the water of our lives, along comes worry to weigh us down. In my own experience, it can seem like a millstone, and worry can do nothing to keep me afloat.
Keeping my eyes on the Kingdom with Jesus as my Guide goes a long way in helping me prioritize and relieves my stress.
And then there is guilt. Some would say a little guilt can be a good thing. When I have done something bad, guilt can lead to remorse, repentance, and ultimately to forgiveness.
Thinking back a few years, it is dwelling on guilt that could be a harsh punishment. Like the millstone that sinks us, guilt can incapacitate us, and weigh us down.
As a child I was taught to feel guilty about the crucifixion of Jesus. Sometimes as though I was somehow personally responsible for His suffering. And to some extent this is true. It was my own sins, and the sins of mankind in general that caused the suffering of Jesus the Christ.
It is when we are taught to dwell upon His suffering that causes the undue pain and ultimately, our own suffering.
Better to dwell with God in the joy of the resurrection and the promise of forgiveness that it holds. Have faith.