guilt

Ever since childhood, there’s often been a subtly pervasive voice in the background saying, “You’re not good enough, you’re not doing enough, you’re not enough as you are.” Have you heard it? This was not stated by anyone explicitly, but was sometimes implied within spiritual environments I participated in and observed.

Guilt.

As easy as it is for me to now enjoy my life and do what I love, there’s often still that subconscious guilt. It’s accusatory, even when I’m not trying to perform. I’ve been conditioned to listen; it lingers in dark recesses whispering, “More, more, more. You’re not doing enough. You are not enough.” And perhaps this is the victory: I know I am not enough, and have stopped trying to be. Is this why the voice becomes a little quieter and harder to hear, less threatening? I’m already aware of my shortcomings, my lack, my silence, my inability to perform, to live up to the expectations and demands of religion and faith, of God.

On the other hand, does that mean I’m desensitized and hard of heart? Guilt speaking of guilt.

I am no fool—I am not a “good” Christian. But at least I am an honest one. Does God prefer appearance over honesty? Or does he desire honesty over appearance? Honesty is all I have to give. Compared to former times, I now feel less guilt when I examine my heart with honesty. All the same, it’s still there.

Could it be that we’re already t/here, where we’re supposed to be? Could it be that God is okay with us, as we are? That we are okay to God even if we don’t “do” enough to show or live our faith?

Our guilt does not speak for God. God isn’t interested in performance, nor guilt driven activity. God wants honest, authentic followers, friends. Maybe right now we only know how to follow in silence, stillness, waiting, by embracing the world and our life in it.

Guilt does not speak for God. If we are living under a sense of never being enough, of always falling short, of spiritual pressure and anxiety and expectation, I would question whether it’s the voice of God we’re hearing, or that subtly pervasive voice of guilt we may sometimes mistake for God.

Be good, do right, follow, not for guilt, but for love.

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