Three common ways of dealing with guilt include:
What might be the most distasteful aspect of sin? God wants our focus to be on the learning of being born of the spirit; that of his grace, the things needed in heaven. Temptations are a barriers that consumes our energy each time we walk around them. They delay or block our focus on his lesson plan in teaching us. If left unchecked, sin will compete with who our master is. Thus, the purpose of repentance. God forgives completely because he wants sin behind us so that we can again focus upon His path.
When past guilt appears rather than re-living that cycle, how about "thanking God for his forgiveness"? If guilt cannot be overcome through prayer, consider consulting a trusted mentor, or a professional counselor who is also a Christian.
In a multiple victim investigation, a police officer interviewed a young sexual abuse victim for the third time after she claimed nothing happened. This time, the officer emphasized that prior to the abuse, the victim had asked a friend for a ride home but was turned down. The victim realized her attempt to avoid the situation, the self-blame disappeared, and she provided details of the molestation.
A good counselor can not only aid with coping skills, but also share insights while placing things into perspective.
Feeling overwhelmed, but not up to personal counseling? Consider that this day is not about you; it is about Him. Read the New Testament and pray. Seek the support of other Christians who have overcome a similar struggle and organizations which do the same. A prudent search on the internet may be "faith based ________ recovery." Volumes have been written on various struggles.
Why do we have to face temptation and guilt? Simple answer: God created us this way.
Have you ever become frustrated over a desire to change, but faults kept getting in the way? Then read over the New Testament and focus on how many times the disciples, whom Jesus selected, were wrong. (Example of Peter in chapter 2)
Isn't it rather egotistical to expect one's abilities to be greater than those of the disciples? Next time that frustration builds, show some compassion towards oneself. God created us this way as a motivator to come to him in prayer with humility and a desire to turn toward His light.
Jesus teaches that sin can start within one's thoughts prior to physically acting upon the sin. Jesus taught, “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matthew 5:27-28
Sin and guilt can sometimes be avoided. Prior to considering performing a sin, create the habit of jumping into prayer when the thought first arrives. Such prayer may begin with, "Dear Heavenly Father, allow my eyes to focus upon you." Then surrender to him what is on your heart. (This prayer will have more power if you have surrendered your heart to Jesus, as described in Chapter 4.)
Focus on the source that motivates the temptation such as lack of humility or self-centeredness rather than on the symptom that motivates the given incident.
Next Chapter: How to Pray
Chapter 1: Facing God
Chapter 2: The Bible and God's Plan
Chapter 3: What is Prayer?
Chapter 4:How to Receive Grace
Chapter 5: Forgiving Others
Chapter 6: Facing Ourself
Chapter 7: How to Pray
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