Getting Off the Guilt Trip
Women are experts at putting themselves on guilt trips. Juggling work, mothering, ministry – you name it, and at one time or another we’ve felt guilt about it. I want to share more expert advice from GROUP’s women’s ministry when it comes to helping women get off the guilt trip – hopefully, you’ll practice some of the tips yourself when the guilt trip temptation hits.
Jill Briscoe, Executive Editor, Just Between Us
By GROUP's Women's Ministry
Amy’s struggling. She’s made some bad choices and done things she knows she’s not supposed to do as a Christian. Her hidden guilt is tormenting her. But she’s too ashamed to let anyone in church know. So when you ask her how she is, she puts on a smile and says, “I’m fine…”
Do you know Amy? She goes to your church. She’s one of many women who are suffering in silence. Sometimes for years. Why? Amy’s afraid of appearing as a failure as a Christian and is tormented by guilt for losing self-control. She may withdraw, or she may get increasingly involved in church activities to cope with her struggle. She may even be you.
Guilt. It’s a “g” word women can so easily give more power to in their lives than the big “G” – God! Eat too much – feel guilty. Say angry words – feel guilty. Buy things we can’t afford – feel guilty. Watch a movie we shouldn’t – feel guilty. Tell a lie to get what we want – feel guilty.
Too ashamed to tell anyone, our hearts and minds fill up with remorse. Guilt begins to consume our thoughts until it’s hard to feel God’s love. We may have a hard time believing God loves us at all.
But the Bible says that nothing can separate us from God’s love. No worries, no fears, no wrong choices – not even guilt. Amy knows this Scripture, but right now she has trouble believing it. With no place to talk about her struggles in church, she’s started looking for programs outside to help get her life back in control.
Self-control is one of the most prevalent issues women struggle with today. Diet, exercise, and life-coaching businesses are flourishing. Women desperate for answers rarely find adequate resources and support inside the church. But living a victorious life of self-control is dependent on living from a heart overflowing with the knowledge of God’s love. And that doesn’t come from self-imposed restrictions like eating pre-packaged foods. It starts with developing the ability to Believe.
Scripture says everything in our lives flows from what we have in our hearts. Not out of our minds, wisdom, success – or our failures. Amy needs to Believe in her heart that God loves her. She needs opportunities to grow in faith while tackling the difficult issues of self-control. Here are a few ideas to help you give women like Amy the love and truth they so desperately need to be free!
Bring the outside in!
Zumba, addiction groups, spa retreats, or diet vacations in church? Why not? Look at the programs your church women are attracted to and consider offering similar programs inside the church. Add prayer, Bible study, and faith-filled friendships, and you’ll have God’s guarantee for success!
Focus on fun.
Romans 13:14 tells us to clothe ourselves with the presence of Jesus to help us resist satisfying our selfish desires. So why not host a “dress for success” party? Let women trade a discouraged, guilt-laden wardrobe for a joy-filled one!
Resolve to get women involved.
Most women don’t like to work out in the gym alone. And they definitely don’t work out as hard! So help women connect in friendships for self-control success!
Help Amy trade a guilty conscience for the consciousness of God’s love…and Believe!