There are so many different strongholds that keep us from achieving our healthy weight.
- The spirit of overwhelm
- The spirit of perfectionism
- The spirit of procrastination
- The spirit of people-pleasing
- And today’s topic, the spirit of guilt.
First off, let’s clear the air on a word that I use often—spirit. Why do I call it a spirit?
1. The Bible refers to this type of stronghold as a spirit (Eph. 6:11-19; 2 Tim. 1:7)
2. To help us recognize that it is something stronger than just our everyday normal feelings
3. To help us understand the magnitude of these strongholds and recognize how they can take over our minds, bodies, and spirits just as an ‘actual’ spirit can
For the record, I’m not well enough versed in theology to call these demonic spirits, but I can say that they are debilitating and powerful enough to keep you from fulfilling the destiny that God has on your life—from living in the joy, peace, and freedom that Christ died for us to experience. And more importantly, they can be CAST OUT using the same biblical weaponry. (Ps. 4:23; 1 John 3:20; 2 Cor 10:4)
Now that I’ve explained that (at least in my own mind,) let’s move on to the topic at hand—GUILT.
Do you struggle with a spirit of guilt?
Let’s check …
- Are you constantly breaking your eating boundaries and then feeling guilty about it?
- Do you feel guilty when you have to tell someone ‘no’?
- Are you always feeling guilty because you feel like you did not do enough, give enough, try harder, or love more?
- Do you find it hard to relax because you feel guilty and feel like you should be doing something?
- Do you have a hard time enjoying anything like your home, car, finances because you feel guilty that you have more than others?
- Can you even remember the last time you did not feel guilty about one thing or another?
If you can identify with any of these, you probably struggle with a spirit of guilt.
Well, today is your day to lose the spirit from your life.
Why we feel guilty
Nothing good can ever come out of feeling guilty. Here are some of its lies:
- Guilt says that you are not worthy; not valuable enough to claim any of God’s promises.
- It tells us that we do not deserve God’s grace, but instead, should feel bad whenever we miss the mark.
- It’s our flesh’s way of doling out self-punishment; it’s like a really bad self-help tool.
- Guilt temporarily replaces our need to take any real and helpful action; it says, “I should have” but doesn’t go any farther to change the unwanted behaviours.
- Guilt is a feeling that tries to control you into taking action, but feelings are not reliable sources of motivation or inspiration—feelings are–well, just feelings that can change moment by moment.
- Guilt temporarily takes away your responsibility by making you feel bad but it will never move you to action. In fact, it continues to sink you deeper into the pit of self-flagellation, shame and doubt which in turn causes you to turn to food to feel better. What a paradox!
So what’s the solution?
The Bible says, “Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and He knows everything” (1 John 3:20 NLT). This verse can teach us how to manage our guilty feelings.
John reminds us to set our hearts on God’s love. We free our minds by realizing that our feelings aren’t facts; therefore, are not great decision-makers. We free our minds by recognizing God’s voice over the voice of guilt and condemnation. God’s voice does not produce guilt (Romans 8:1). His voice is one of assurance and comfort.
Choose to follow God’s will for your life and refuse to let your feelings dictate how you should or should not respond. Let the Word of God dictate your decisions, then set your mind to be a blessing—to make the choice that honors God.
If you break your boundaries (sin; give-in to your flesh), repent—meaning, accept what you’ve done, and SINCERELY tell God that you’re sorry and don’t do it again. It’s the last two that often trip us up.
First, we’re often not sincere in our repentance; and secondly, we have not trusted God or even asked Him to help us stop the behavior. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you the source of your guilt. Guilt is rooted in low self-esteem and feelings of failure.
Finally … remind, receive, recognize
Remind yourself that you are doing the best you can. Accept God’s grace and know that you are where you are because of what God is trying to teach you, and until you learn the lesson, you need to be there. Ask Him what He’s trying to show you. Remind yourself that a spirit of guilt will not motivate you to change and will only make you feel worse about yourself which will lead you to eat or rebel against your health goals.Receive God's grace and know that grace is not giving yourself permission to continue unhealthy habits. Grace is a gift from God to you Click To Tweet
Recognize that God is greater than your feelings of guilt. Recognize that feelings are not facts and are not reliable sources from which to make decisions.
My sister (and enlightened brother), it’s time to cast out the spirit of guilt from your weight releasing program and your life. It is not from God. God convicts, He will never condemn you or make you feel guilty. Root out the spirit of guilt and start experiencing the joy, peace, and freedom that Christ died for us to experience, even in the midst of your short-comings, trials, missteps, and slip-ups.
You got this, with the Lord as your strength!
P.S. If you want to discover how to stop being led by your feelings and learn to be led by the Holy Spirit so you can live a healthy life at a healthy weight, visit cathymorenzie.com .