Guilt That Leads Away From God

Guilt that Leads Away From God

Guilt that Leads Away From God

Did you know that there is a guilt that leads away from God?

In Henri Nouwen‘s daily devotional called “Show Me the Way” he speaks about two kinds of guilt; one that leads you to God and one that sends you away. He says…

There is an awareness of sin that does not lead to God but rather to self-preoccupation. Our temptation is to be so impressed by our sins and failings and so overwhelmed by our lack of generosity that we get stuck in a paralyzing guilt. It is the guilt that says: “I am too sinful to deserve God’s mercy.” It is the guilt that leads to introspection instead of directing our eyes to God. It is the guilt that has become an idol and therefore a form of pride.

…The question is: “Are we like Judas, who was so overcome by his sin that he could not believe in God’s mercy any longer and hanged himself, or are we like Peter who returned to his Lord with repentance and cried bitterly for his sins?”  

The Peter/Judas contrast is striking to me. Peter went on to lead the church. For some reason he was able to tap into the true essence of God’s mercy and forgiveness and it was life changing. But Judas let his sin and guilt crush him.

How do you handle your guilt? Does it lead you to God or away from him? My prayer for you is that you, like Peter,  might find God’s life changing mercy and forgiveness for your past and rise to fulfill your God-given purpose.


4 thoughts on “Guilt That Leads Away From God

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      Interesting perspective. History tells us that Jesus was not imaginary. He may have been lying but he said that he came to reveal to us the essence of the invisible God. His followers seemed convinced that his resurrection backed up his words. I guess we will just have to wait and see who is right. Thanks for the comment.


  1. Barbara altman

    I find your perspective to be fascinating. It may come out of a sense of frustration that many feel about a salvation message that excludes social action. I listened to Desmond Tuto yestereday. He made a comment about his friend, the Dali Lama. He jokingly referred to God talking to His Holiness, sayintg, :You are a great man, it’s just a shame you are not a Christian.”

    I personally believe in the God without and the God within. Jesus indeed was not imaginary. He came to teach us how to live.

    His life is an historical fact. In rejecting the great spiritual teachers, we reject that part of us that raises us into a higher consciousness.
    Author Barbara altman

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