Facing Up to False Guilt

Thank you for joining me for our series on Identity & Worth. I for one can still struggle with finding my worth in God’s Word, even as I get older. We need to be reminded often. The truth about how precious we are to our Heavenly Father is something we can’t hear enough. We are valuable treasures to Him. Today’s devo teaches us how to face up to false guilt and not let it define who we are.

I didn’t understand it.

As we sat in the meeting that day, I couldn’t help but feel like fingers were pointing my direction. It started out like any other conversation, but now I stood under a cloud of accusation for something that clearly wasn’t my fault.


At least, it was clear to me. Maybe not so much to everyone else.


I went over and over the scene in my head, trying to figure out what went wrong. Where misunderstanding could’ve happened. Why would someone point to me in the midst of their pain? Was I taking this too personally? I wanted to figure out how to fix it. But when I couldn’t, I decided I’d just have to let it go.


Only, I couldn’t let it go. I had come face to face with false guilt.



False guilt happens when we feel guilty over something we have no control over, or something that’s not our fault. We ask God to search our hearts, and even though we feel free from wrongdoing, we still feel guilty. So we exhaust ourselves trying to make things right.


I know false guilt well. I’ve fallen into it’s snares more than a few times. I catch myself repeating the phrase, “It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault. It’s not my fault,” in an effort to find peace.


But reminding myself that “it’s not my fault” never brings the resolve I hope for. When false guilt threatens my worth, I have to face it with the Truth of who I am.


When false guilt threatens my worth, I can face up to it with the Truth of who I am. (Tweet this.)


False guilt can leave us feeling worthless. It can crush us under a weight of responsibility that isn’t even ours to carry. And when we try to rid ourselves of that burden through people-pleasing, the guilt only grows stronger.



The only way to let these guilt feelings go and find freedom is to face up to false guilt. See it for what it really is. Then recall how precious we are to God.



“So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Matthew 10:31 NLT



Sometimes we can work so hard at being good that we forget where goodness begins. God is good, and through Him we will discover the best of ourselves. If we get caught up in pleasing others, however well-meaning our intentions may be, we lose sight of God’s sovereignty over our lives. Instead, we should give the guilt to Him and allow His mercy and grace to cover any conflict we face. 



God can reveal truth, calm hurting hearts, and bring peace.



If you’ve allowed false guilt to have a place in your life, let today’s verse speak to your spirit. You are precious to God, and His thoughts toward you are good. We can face up to false guilt with the Truth of His Word and rest in our dependence on Him.

Blessings,

Kristine




When Difficult Change Challenges Your Identity

I am so pleased to begin our new series on IDENTITY & WORTH by sharing an encouraging devotion written by my friend and fellow writer, Julie Sunne. Julie’s words spoke straight to my heart as a mom, and I know they will bless you as well. Thank you for joining us for this new series for fall!

I knew I’d be sad, but the intensity of my feelings surprised me. 

This past month I followed my youngest on a four-hour drive to his chosen college. Two adult sons were already on their own, now our third and last one would be spending most of his time away from home. That left our 21-year-old daughter, who has special needs, to keep my husband and me company. 

I cherished parenting my children. Now, no longer needed to fulfill a full-time mothering role, I feel a bit lost … directionless. I had equated my identity with being a mother. When that role lost its primacy, I lost my identity and, thus, my sense of worth. 

We tie our worth to all sorts of things. Our vocation, whether we have children, whether those children are making good choices, the amount of our possessions, our health or fitness level, even our looks. But God has a different idea of what constitutes worth. 

The Lord created us in His image and declared it good. (Tweet this.)

 

The Lord created us in His image and declared it good. He stamped us worthy when He adopted us. And our identity as His children assign us value. Valuable enough, in fact, to be worth the death of His Son. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8, CSB).

Employed or jobless, a parent or childless, healthy or infirmed, young or old, wealthy or poor, well known or unknown … as God’s children, we all hold equal and great value in His eyes. But when we lose sight of our identity in Christ, our sense of worth becomes fragile, dependent on our performance or status in life. Then when life shifts—as it will—we face a crisis of identity.

I did. I became so caught up in being a mom, I forgot that first and foremost I am a daughter of the King. When “Mom” no longer required my full-time attention, my worth took a hit. Confusion about my purpose set in. I’m finding that the way back to stable ground is to review what God says about me and who I am. 

I am loved. I am worthy. I am appointed. I am empowered. I am saved. I am a new creation. I am forgiven and redeemed. I am a conqueror in Christ. I am the Lord’s workmanship, fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a child of God. 

If you know Jesus Christ as your Savior, you can make the same claims. Your identity far surpasses that of your vocation or station on earth. You, too, are a child of God. That makes you invaluable. Believe it, even when the biting winds of change try to tell you otherwise. 

 “For it was you who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise you because I have been remarkably and wondrously made. Your works are wondrous, and I know this very well. My bones were not hidden from you when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in your book and planned before a single one of them began.” (Psalm 139:13-16, CSB)

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Father, we are honored and awed that You would adopt us as Your children. Forgive us when we place our identity elsewhere. Draw us to You, Lord, and remind us of our worth in Your eyes. Remind us of the truth of who we are as heirs with Christ to the Kingdom. Help us place our identity solely in You. In Your Son Jesus Christ’s precious name, Amen. 


To be reminded of the truths of who you are in Christ, download a free “Empowered in Christ” printout by subscribing to my site, www.juliesunne.com. There you’ll find many other encouraging resources as well. 



Blessings,

Kristine


Julie Sunne delights in sharing about finding real hope in the middle of life’s real messes. Her own mess includes enduring multiple miscarriages and raising and now being caregiver for her 21-year-old daughter with special needs. 

Her writing credentials include a feature in Celebrate Life magazine; guest posting for such online sites as Healthy Leaders, (in)courage, and Mommies with Hope as well as Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Encouragement for Today devotions; and feature and copy writing for local newspapers. You can find Julie’s self-published image-based devotional, Everyday Praise: Walking in Greater Peace, on Amazon. 

Julie and her husband, Dave, are parents to a teenager and three young adults. They reside in Northeast Iowa where Julie loves Chai tea lattes, dark chocolate, books, and doing anything outdoors. Find encouragement on her website, www.juliesunne.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.