Listening to the SayThat podcast and reading this blog have inspired me to seek God more than I ever have before. So thank you for that. But I have a problem — I hate myself. This is a struggle that comes back over and over again in my life. I want to talk to someone about it, but I’m afraid to open up. Do you know how can I get rid of this awful guilt and insecurity?
First of all, thank you for the kind words. I can speak for all of us involved that we are so happy you are seeking Him more, and deeply honored to be a part of that.
You need to understand that you are not alone. This is probably the number one problem that people ask about. You are actually ahead of a lot of church folks by realizing that guilt and insecurity aren’t good. A lot of people have been sold the idea that guilt is actually kind of good because guilt keeps you from sinning. That is not true of course, guilt needs sin to keep feeding on.
Because you are not alone, talking to someone about this isn’t a big deal. Even though, I know it feels that way. This is a situation where one moment of courage to ask someone to talk and be honest can lead to a lifetime of good things. it is worth that little risk.
John 8:36 says: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” Guilt and insecurity never lead to freedom. So we need to focus on what does give you that feeling of freedom.
The Bible should be something that brings you freedom. Go to the scriptures specifically looking for good things it says about you as a believer, such as: you are free, you are loved, you are accepted, God isn’t going to give up on you; and then, crucially, don’t argue with them. Sit with those statements, and let them be. You don’t have to start buying in all at once, but just start by considering the possibility of them being true.
The other thing is to get out there and do something. Find a way to serve someone for Jesus. If all you do with your faith is sit and think about it, it gives guilt a huge open door to seep in. But, if you are out there living it out, then guilt will only slow you down and you will have new motivation to shed it. Nature hates a vacuum. In order to get rid of the guilt, something has to replace it, like purpose, joy and freedom.
You can’t get rid of guilt through willpower. That just leads to even worse guilt when you mess up. You need some wisdom and a strategy, which you get from scripture, prayer, and talking to people who have been there (which is just about everyone who has been walking with the Lord for any amount of time). You can do it, and it will change your life in ways you wouldn’t believe.
-Matt from The Bridge