What do you immediately think of when you read the words “guilt trip”?
Seriously . . . I want you to think about it for a second . . . .
(Thus the white space)
Did any of these come to mind?
Most likely we’ve all been prey to someone guilt-tripping us.
Believe it or not, WikiHow even has a “How to Give a Guilt Trip” article!
So, if you don’t think you are very good at it and really WANT to be emotionally manipulative, click below and tips will come your way.
Seriously, that’s not our best idea. But maybe still read the article and see if you have any of those behaviors. I learned that I actually do this very unknowingly. Thus, some additional self-reflection is ahead. 😉
OR – maybe we suffer from guilt-tripping ourselves.
“I didn’t do enough.”
All of those are things we are capable of suffering from.
According to the APA Dictionary of Psychology, Guilt is an emotion characterized by a painful appraisal of having done (or thought) something that is wrong. It is often followed by a readiness to take action designed to undo or mitigate the wrong.
Some would say that guilt is good, it motivates us to more positive behaviors.
However, research shows that too much guilt has been tied to several mental health issues. This feeling is often linked with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
We all mess up, right?
Whether intentionally (sins of commission) or non-intentionally (sins of omission), we make mistakes. We hurt those we love. We hurt those we don’t even know.
Yet, as followers of The Way, one of the beautiful gifts we receive is freedom from guilt.
When the woman came and poured the ointment on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her tears and hair, at no point in the story, do we find him stopping to point out her guilt.
Jesus never put people on a guilt trip.
It might sound silly, but he did the opposite.
It was and is a grace trip.
How much is guilt part of your emotions?
What guilt can you let go of, knowing you’ve been forgiven for anything that stands in your way of experiencing God’s love?
“Let all that you do be done in love.”
(1 Corinthians 16:14).