Learning how to face, understand and conquer guilt and shame
What are we supposed to do? What do we do when we have done something - either on purpose or by accident - that causes someone excessive harm or loss, or even tragedy? How do we go on, how do we face our family or those we have hurt? How do we live with ourselves? Crushing guilt can bring us into a place of dark and misery-ridden hopelessness. It can make our life feel joyless and pointless. The good news? As Christians, we have access to God through Jesus. While they won’t miraculously lift us out of the mire of crushing guilt, they will, if we let them, give us direction, strength and hope. We just need to be willing to do the necessary work in faith. So, how do we get there from here? We’ll start with the story of someone who has been here and is now walking this difficult road to acceptance.
A car accident changed everything
Jennifer has been married for almost 20 years and is a mom of four. About five years ago, the trajectory of her life changed when she was in a car accident that took the life of another. Though not criminally negligent, Jennifer did cause the accident. She now must live with the reality of someone’s death happening as a result of something she did. Jennifer is intimately familiar with the overwhelming consequences of crushing guilt.
The first thing we need to know is that we cannot take the consequences of our guilt away. We can try and ignore them. We can pay them lip service. Or we can even try and redirect the blame for the wrong done away from us. Yes, we can do all these things, but inevitably none of them will help us alleviate our guilt. The only way to productively and decisively manage crushing guilt is to work through it. We need to face it in all of its misery, confusion and hopelessness so we can sort it out.
Her painful story
This is by no means an easy or even a welcome task. On the contrary, the time and effort needed can be daunting. But there is good news! Not only do we have biblical guidance as to how to navigate through this mess, we also have Jennifer and other real current-day examples to help us through. Check out our July 19, 2021 podcast, “How can We Overcome Crushing Guilt?” for more. We listen to Jennifer unfold her journey beginning with the trauma of the accident. She walks us through the stages of growth that brought her to a point of healthy and godly acceptance.
As a backdrop for her story, we look at two Psalms of David written about a specific tragic event in his life. One Psalm tells the story of plowing through the guilt, and the other tells the story of what the victory over guilt looks like. We can overcome the crushing guilt in our lives. Further, we can also learn to pass on the value of our learning experience to others. Don’t miss this opportunity to unlock hope!
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