The early warning signs.
| posted 10/10/2007
Saint Theresa thinks everybody is the same as she is because we are all sinners. Hitler thinks everybody is different from him, because they are, some of them less pure, some of them less noble, some of them less intelligent, some of them less beautiful, all of them less godlike, all of them less perfect. It is the Hitlers who think they are perfect—because nobody else thinks so. It is the saints who know they are not perfect, although sometimes other people say of them that they are saints: the saints themselves know themselves only as sinners, liable to lose their love and the sight of Christ through a movement of impatience or selfishness or pride.
True saints do not get discouraged over their faults, for they recognize that a person who feels no guilt can never find healing. Paradoxically, neither can a person who wallows in guilt. The sense of guilt only serves its designed purpose if it presses us toward the God who promises forgiveness and restoration.
I once thought Christians went through life burdened by guilt, in contrast to carefree unbelievers. I now realize that Christians are the only persons who do not have to go through life feeling guilty. Guilt is only a symptom; we listen to it because it drives us toward the cure.
"Guilt Good and Bad." Christianity Today. November 18, 2002. Vol. 46, No. 12, Page 112.
Want to explore this subject further? Download our study Letting Go of Guilt.
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