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Festering Wounds

"My guilt has overwhelmed me
   like a burden too heavy to bear.

My wounds fester and are loathsome
   because of my sinful folly." Psalm 38:5-8

There is no pain like that of losing someone you love. Everyone will go through it at one time or another. The loss alone is devastating, but then sets in regret, shame and guilt for a million reasons. These debilitating emotions, combined with grief, can be disastrous for anyone. There's always something, or many things, we deeply regret. There's always guilt to follow and when we realize we can't go back and right those wrongs it can have crippling consequences.

God never promised us an easy life. He never promised fields of flowers with white fluffy clouds and rainbows while we remain on this earth. In fact, more than puppies and cotton candy, we will be racked with festering wounds that seem unending.

"Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward." Job 5:7

As sinful beings, we will never escape regret and guilt. The more we grow in holiness, the more we will become aware of and hate our own unrighteousness and feel the pangs of that guilt. God allows this to discipline and teach us, but He doesn't want us wallowing either. Marinating in them is destructive. Wallowing to punish ourselves is counter productive. We can't go back in time to make amends, but we can grow from regret and guilt.

My husband always says, "It's not how you start, but how you finish." Life is full of anguish, regrets, heartache, guilt and trouble. We can never escape or avoid them, but we have a great God who is full of mercy and compassion.

"for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:20

The first step to ending this vicious prison is to repent. We may not be able to go back and correct our wrongs, but God can and does use them for our good and the good of others. Repentance and acknowledging our guilt will bring the peace and cleansing we so desperately need for healing.

"I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,' and you forgave the iniquity of my sin." Psalm 32:5

In one aspect, guilt drives us to repentance and seeking forgiveness, but having forgiveness doesn't remove the pangs of guilt. As Believers, all our sins are covered, but that covering doesn't blot them from our memory. In the instance of  terrible guilt following the death of a loved one, we will not only beat ourselves up savagely, but we have a powerful adversary who loves to accuse us and drive in the knives. 

Once we've repented then we must simply take God at His Word. He promised to forgive and restore and we must trust in that. If repentance in the salve then renewing our minds with the Word is the bandage. Repentance will cleanse us and renewing our minds will change us. 

"This is my comfort and consolation in my affliction: that Your Word has revived me and given me life." Psalm 119:50

When we feel guilt creeping up on us, we must make the decision to stop it in its tracks. Instead of letting it drag us back into the mire, we must move forward remembering we are new creatures and the old has past away (2 Corinthians 5:17). God expects us to move on and if we are to be productive for Him then we must pick up and keep going. Guilt, shame and regret can be great teachers, humbling us and making us holier. The greatest gift we can give to those we've lost, for whom suffer guilt and regret for, is to learn from it, grow from it and let it bring us closer to the image of Christ.

Recommended reading: Psalm 32, Psalm 38, Psalm 51,


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Disclaimer: I do not condone the teaching of men by women nor am I trying to exercise authority over men by using this blog as a method of teaching men. All posts are for the edification of women. For more on what I believe concerning this issue please see: Women - No Dominion Over Men
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