Just a question that came up while reading Your Struggles Do Not Shock Jesus— isn’t liking a teacher or someone a lot older than you Biblically fine, but just socially unacceptable?
You are absolutely right. I certainly never meant to imply that there is something wrong with being attracted to an older person.
This brings up an interesting and important point about guilt. Just because you feel guilt or shame doesn’t actually mean that you have done something sinful. This situation is a good example of something that pings that shamefully little part of your brain, so you just assume you must have done something wrong, even though you haven’t.
One of the most damaging aspects of guilt and shame is that lead to isolating yourself. This is incredibly dangerous even in areas where something sinful is going on. The prime example being looking at porn. Pretty much everyone has looked at naughty stuff on the internet at some point. You are full of hormones, you are programmed to like naked bodies, and you have a high speed connection to the most massive collection of free pornography in the history of the world, of course everyone has fallen prey to that. That is lustful, which is bad, but letting guilt and shame eat away at you and isolate you can be even more harmful in the long term.
Letting guilt and shame drive you away from community, both with Jesus and with other believers, is playing exactly into the devil’s hands. Jesus wants a deep relationship with you. Guilt leads to avoidance, which is poison to a relationship.
Jesus doesn’t want you to feel guilty and shameful. He wants you to be freed from them in the way you are freed from your sin. So when those feelings set in on you, take a moment to take a deep breath and give that feeling over to God. Don’t let guilt dictate your life to you, that doesn’t lead anywhere good. Jesus is the way to freedom, including freedom from guilt and shame.
-Matt from The Bridge