Feeling Guilty?

I spoke from my heart. I told my story. I taught truth. I invited the people to let Jesus be the Lord of their hearts.

I gathered the restaurant bags, sighed, and crammed them into the overstuffed trash can. A friend had sent me a recipe that day that involved peeling and chopping and simmering. I imagined her trash can full of fresh veggie peelings and other things that proved her kitchen produced way more homemade goodness than mine.

And a little thread of guilt wrapped around my heart.

Sometimes I feel more guilty for what I’m not than thankful for what I am.

But there was sweet grace waiting for me in a little yogurt shop that night. My daughter had asked if I would come and speak to a Bible study she was helping organize. “Mom, I think there are going to be a lot of people that show up.”

So, instead of cooking that night I ordered out. Again. And drove to the yogurt shop with the girl whose heart was full of excitement and expectation.

People were everywhere. Young people. Invited people. And parents. Nearly 200 people packed inside the yogurt shop and overflowed outside. My daughter smiled.

I took the microphone and spoke from my heart. I told my story. I taught truth. I invited the people to let Jesus be the Lord of their hearts.

And many who had never done so said yes to God that night. A teen girl who had tried to commit suicide last year. She stood to accept Jesus. A young man with tears in his eyes. He stood to accept Jesus. A mom and a dad. They stood to accept Jesus. Along with many others.

In the yogurt shop.

With a woman whose trash can was filled with take-out bags.

A woman who isn’t the greatest cook. But a woman who wants to learn to be more thankful for what I am than guilty for what I’m not.

Maybe you are the friend with the veggie peelings in the trash can and steaming homemade goodness on the table.

Celebrate that.

Or maybe you are like me. And your gifts are less tasty.

Celebrate that.

And cut the threads of guilt with the edge of grace.

By Lysa TerKeurst

For more encouragement, check out Lysa’s book Unglued. Click here to purchase your copy!

{Photo by Paul Hudson}
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  1. 1

    Lysa,
    So true that we so often look at what we are not, and do not celebrate what we are. I “do” guilt really well, but I am learning, deep in my heart, that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” and to constantly feel this false guilt is criticizing God’s awesome workmanship. May we all “cut the threads of guilt with the edge of grace”!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. 2

    I am going to re read Unglued today! Thank you!

  3. 4

    Thanks to God and my Christian friends, I have learned during those moments of guilt to say, “But I’m a good person.” I guess that’s celebrating.

  4. 5

    I guess none of us is superwoman. Thanks for reminding me of this. I’m sure your friend who cooks the homemade meals isn’t writing books and speaking! Today this helps me cut myself some slack!

  5. 6

    a timely reminder. thank you! –kris

  6. 7

    I get so wrapped up in those stinkin’ garbage bags, literally and figuratively! Thank you for a heaping helping of encouragement, Lysa.

  7. 8

    Thank you so much for this Lysa!

  8. 9

    Thank you! Thank you! As I look around at school books in every direction and day planners that seem to be for looks only I am slowly becoming an overwhelmed mess. Your words were came through on my newsfeed just after I finished my prayer journal entry about what a mess I am today. I appreciate your transparency. Thank you

  9. 10

    AMEN!!!
    Seems like so much of what we read and hear is telling us to be more or do more. Sadly…even in the church and from fellow Christians.
    Jesus loves us. He died for us. He made a way for us to live this life by His grace. Perhaps the joy is gone because we are always comparing ourselves to what we read and see. Time to enjoy being us…made in God’s image, filled with His love and peace. Paul said “I have learned to be content…”

  10. 11

    I’m currently walking a tightrope of three kids in three different schools with a ridiculous list of activities. Trying to do it all is impossible, and there’s a little freedom in knowing it:)

  11. 12

    Thank you for that reminder and allowing myself and other christian women share your love of God. I’m currently reading “And He dwelt among us” teachings from the Godpel of John. By AW Tozer. I reccomend this book to everyone who wants to know the Lord in more ways than we can imagine.

  12. 13

    EXACTLY! Beautifully told and so very true. Thank God you are YOU.

  13. 14

    This morning I found a sermon note in my Bible that said ” the enemy works through accusation, discouragement and isolation.” Thanks Lysa for helping us do battle!!

  14. 15

    Just wrote a blog about Who I Am…I am not the sum of what I am not. Or even my “positive” traits strung together. I am the daughter of the king, a woman who says “Yes” to God. Guilt has not place here! Only God’s grace. Thank you for saying the same thing…only better.

  15. 16

    My daughter tried to commit suicide in April. May she find a place
    with Jesus as did the girl in your story.

  16. 17

    I loved your post. My garbage overfloweth with take out and microwaveables far more often than fresh peelings too. My house is often cluttered and messy. But, I have a heart for God, I try to do my best raising my sons and to be active in my church in various ministries and in Celebrate Recovery. This reminds me that it is my story and my heart that will lead more people to Jesus than my culinary skills.

  17. 18

    Thanks for a great article. I sometimes get caught up in that lie, that I must do more. Have a perfectly organized home, weigh less, and prepare the perfect meal every night. At 55 years old, I’m learning to relax a little, take time out for me without the guilt. I try not to let guilt take free rent in my head and my heart, it’s okay to take some time for my crafts, as it’s meditative for me, my quiet time with God. It’s sad that women are made to feel they have to keep doing… We are human beings, not human doings!!

  18. 19

    Such Truth. We are so prone to comparison and all it does is take our eyes off the Lord.
    Thank you for the renewed perspective.

  19. 20

    Being a recovering drug addict, I feel like I have a lot to feel guilty about. Guilt is something I’ve dealt with for most of my life. Recently God has been speaking to my heart, and the other day when a woman I didn’t know came into my store, walked up to me and said, “I hear that you’re listening to Jesus music, would you pray for my grand son? ”
    I smiled and told her of course! And somehow I didn’t feel like so much of a failure after all!
    God is just so amazingly awesome.

  20. 21

    Lysa… You put it so perfectly… I am taking out the trash.. Literally,spiritually and figuratively…

  21. 22

    It’s so easy to get wrapped up in guilt and so much harder to accept grace. I saw Lysa at a speaking event on November 3, 2012 and it changed my life. That was the day I said yes to Jesus being the Lord of my heart.

  22. 23
    Beth Williams says:

    Lysa,

    That is soo very true. I often look at my downfalls–can’t hear good, can’t speak good and complain. I should look at the many gifts I have and thank God for them. We have so much to be thankful for. Rather than complain about stuff I’m going to put the trash out and start listing my thanks.

    I’m going to stop comparing myself to others and realize I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the eyes of God and He loves me most of all!

  23. 24

    Totally needed this truth and reminder today. I love how Jesus does that!

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