Guilt and Grace

Caregivers may from time to time be visited by an uncomfortable vistor — GUILT.  This visitor can come from any direction.  It may be the clients relative, or even friends that think you are not doing things correctly.  It may be the one we are actually caring for is just never satisfied with how you are doing things.  Guilt may come from our own heart.  You second guess whether you are doing things right or doing the right things. The big one is feeling guilty before God.  Did you do something wrong to cause this to happen?  Is this in any way a punishment?

Confess your feeling of guilt.  That does not mean that what we are feeling is true mortal guilt.  It means that we need to get our thoughts and feeling surrounding guilt out into the open in some way.  We might be experiencing a mixed bag of strained relationships, confused roles, feelings of inadequacy, etc woven in with our feelings of guilt.  (1 John 1:8-10)

Why It’s Hard To Let Go of Guilt

One of the reasons it’s hard to let go of our guilty feelings is that;  it feels safe.

We are our own boss and we can solve our own guilt. We can pay for our mistakes or live with them and owe nothing to no one. We’re used to dealing with guilt the same way we handled our imperfections:

– Hide or pretend they didn’t bother us.

– Used fear or punishment to motivate our corrective actions or behaviors.

– Rebel against anyone or anything that tried to control us.

– Get depressed, live with regret.

We may be motivated by guilty feelings out of habit, as a learned response and also as a preferred choice.

We also can become resentful, bitter, self-defensive or even angry.  That options just breeds more guilt or self – centeredness.  Confession is central to restoring right relationships, even with ourselves.  We often say if I could go back and start all over again…  But that is not the case.  We are where we are in life.  We need a safe place to let our feelings out.  As a general rule, caregivers do the best they can do with the information they have all the time.  I would be a better caregiver for my client if I had to do it all over again.  Then again I might have been better if God offers grace, after you express your feelings of guilt.  Give yourself grace too!

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