Guilt-Free Me

Guilt Free Me

Do any of you follow Garrison Keillor? If you haven’t heard of him he’s the brilliance behind Minnesota’s Public Radio Show Prairie Home Companion. The author, humorist and radio personality captures Midwestern life with wit and great perception.

Sample this smidgen of his humor:

“Here in the Midwest, we all have long memories of suffering and pain, because, for one thing, winter is so long, and when finally it gets warm and beautiful as it is now, finally (the last ice went out last week) we try to relieve these painful memories of cold, of neglect, of suspicion, darkness, anger, Bologna sandwiches, stupidity, butterscotch pudding (we try to heal ourselves by subjecting ourselves to intensely pleasurable experiences) mindless pleasure in the sun while wearing as few clothes as possible (sand, air, water, sun, grass, gin) but we were not brought up to experience pleasure. It doesn’t register on us. It’s like trying to write on glass with a pencil. We get into as few clothes as possible and the sight of ourselves depresses us. Sunlight makes us gloomy. We are not Mediterranean people. We’re Lutheran people.” {Emphasis mine.}

Many of the residents of Keillor’s fictional Minnesota town, Lake Wobegon, are Lutheran. Consequently, the Lutheran’s of Lake Wobegon are treated with the same self-deprecatory humor as everything and everyone else!

My spiritual roots were deeply Lutheran. Oh, how I love and appreciate the faith of my fathers! But in the same vein as  Keillor I’ll say nobody does guilt better than a Lutheran!

Heck, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty.

There’s only one thing a gal can do.

Draw. Her. Sword.

One of the most underlined, annotated, tear-stained passages in my bible is Psalm 51——–otherwise known as “The Sinner’s Psalm.” (I know. Shocking that I, the Lutheran, would dwell there.)

The passage beckoned me like a seductive siren for decades.  In the early years, I pitched my tent on verse three.

“Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Ps. 51:3 NIV

(“I know how bad I’ve been; my sins are staring me down.” Ps 51:3 MSG)

Over time God encouraged me to find a new campsite. Verse seven waved a friendly hand of invitation.

“Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Ps 51:7 NIV

I’m not even sure how or when I started to pitch my tent in yet another spot. I think it was like that subtle but life-changing moment you sub-consciously order the burger with bacon. Before you know it, you’ve acquired a new “regular”.

My regular became:

“… God, take away my guilt. Then my tongue will sing about how right you are no matter what you do.” Ps 51:14 NIRV

I still go back to Psalm 51 but that first tent site has long disappeared. I’m not even sure I could find it anymore. The guilt-free me meanders over to verse 10. It’s the verse I rely on for the days my heart needs cleaning and my “I believe, help my unbelief” faith** needs bolstering.

“God, create a pure heart in me. Give me a new spirit that is faithful to you.” Ps. 51:10 NIRV

How about you?

Does ongoing guilt get in the way of all that God has in store for you? If it’s a matter of unconfessed sin the guilt may be the Holy Spirit’s loving prompt for you to repent and then move on.

Guilt from any other source is counterproductive.

There is nothing I’d like more than to have you join me so that my Guilt-Free-Me can become a community of Guilt-Free-WE!

Suppose we claim we are without sin. Then we are fooling ourselves. The truth is not in us.  But God is faithful and fair. If we confess our sins, he will forgive our sins. He will forgive every wrong thing we have done. He will make us pure.” 1 John 1-8-9 NIRV

** Mark 9:24

Hop over to Suzie’s #livefree community today or sometime over your weekend. You’ll be blessed to see what other women are saying about Guilt-Free-Me!

Your (grateful to be guilt-free) DoAhead Friend,

Comments

  1. Prairie Home Companion is one of my favorite radio shows. I’m not from the Midwest but religious guilt runs rampant no matter where you’re from. Love the line “guilt from any other source is counterproductive”. How very true! Thank you for sharing. I’m blessed to be your neighbor for #livefreeThursday.

  2. Cindy, there is nothing whiter than snow. Isn’t it amazing that God would choose snow to illustrate how He cleanses us! Praise His name!

  3. “Does ongoing guilt get in the way of all that God has in store for you? If it’s a matter of unconfessed sin the guilt may be the Holy Spirit’s loving prompt for you to repent and then move on. Guilt from any other source is counterproductive.” LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!! Thank you for your wisdom today, Cindy! #livefreeThursday

  4. Oh girl, I love this so much. You just don’t know how much! ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  5. Cindy, Love this! Isn’t it crazy how we can use God’s word to feed our guilt? I confess I do it to myself all the time! Thank you for reminding me that it is meant to lead me to all God has in store for me! It’s time to say good bye guilt and hello “guilt free we”!

  6. I feel guilty for always doubting God’s will for me. I’m such a work in progress still.

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