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Guilt as a Choice



BIBLICAL POINT OF REFERENCE:

"But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, though testified to by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus."

~Romans 3:21-24

Whenever I get into an argument with one of my family members, I immediately feel guilty - and just plain awful about how hurtful that kind of behavior is to my family. They do everything for me and for my plans and dreams, and returning the favor with a bad attitude is simply rude on my part.

Whenever this happens, I tell myself that I'll do better next time, that I'll control my anger and emotions, and that I'll handle the situation like an adult. I could probably count on one hand how often I have actually followed through on that resolution, so clearly I need some work in that area of life.

One reason for my slow progress is likely due to my hatred for guilt. I absolutely hate feeling guilty, because then I know that I am in the wrong, and I really hate being wrong. So to try and work through why I hate feeling guilty, I looked up the definition of "guilt" via Google:

The fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime.

Now, I'm obviously not a criminal, but that doesn't mean I don't offend others with hurtful words or actions. And I should feel guilty after doing stuff like that.

That's when it hit me: I should feel guilty, and I usually do. Guilt is technically a feeling I choose to feel. I don't have to feel guilty about something if I choose not to. But I do anyway, and to take away that feeling of guilt, I try to make it right by apologizing to the people I've hurt and by asking them for forgiveness.

Whether you believe in God or not, many of us have felt guilt when we have done something wrong, and that is why we are inherently good people. Mankind's ability to feel guilt is one way that life allows us to learn from our mistakes and grow into better people. That doesn't mean that every time we feel guilty we really should feel guilty - sometimes guilt can be misplaced - but our intuition can still usually steer us in the right direction.

So back to the arguments I have with my family members: they're not a good thing, and I should be aware of the mistakes I make in that area of my life, but feeling guilty means that I know I have done something wrong and can therefore fix it. We should all shift our perspective on guilt and being wrong sometimes, for it is a chance for us to learn.

Your Laughing Sister,

Callahan

Check out the REGRET quotes page for more inspiration!


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