Overcoming Guilt

Ways to Overcome Guilt and Be Better for It

As sinners, we often experience guilt when we can’t quite overcome temptations to sin.  We often hurt one another in any number of ways.  We steal.  We covet one another’s possessions.  It is in our nature to sin, and God knows this. Guilt can be a useful tool in pushing us to change our behavior, but it is important that we learn from our mistakes and move forward.  Overcoming guilt can be difficult, but here are some ways it can be accomplished.

Take Responsibility
The first step in overcoming guilt is to take responsibility for your actions.  It can be easier to blame our sins on others and take no responsibilities.  Even if others are complicit in our sins, it is important that we admit our role in the sin.  We need to take responsibility for our own actions.

Understand Why You Did It
Once we realize we did something wrong, we need to figure out why we did it.  It is hard to change our behavior when we don’t dig deep inside ourselves to understand why we sin.  Are you harboring deep seated anger?   Maybe you’re jealous of your friend.  If we don’t understand why we do certain things, it is hard to change.

Guilt is Normal
When we do something wrong, it is normal to feel guilty.  Actually, guilt can be a very healthy emotion, because it opens the door to fixing something that is wrong.  When guilt is not normal is when we cannot let go of it or move forward from it.

  If guilt is keeping you from living your life, it may be time to get help.

Learn from Mistakes
Guilt is the catalyst for change in many of us, and when we examine our guilt and behavior, we have the opportunity to move forward. We need to take that guilt and seize the opportunity for change.  Guilt can help us learn from our mistakes.

There is Always Tomorrow
Guilt can sometimes weigh hard on us, and even if we change, we sometimes can’t forget what we’ve done in our past.  But the past is just the past.  We have to accept we can’t change it.  We need to look toward the future, and we have to remember that tomorrow is another day for us to make things right and be the person we want to be.

Do Something Good for Others
Sometimes we feel guilty for things that we cannot apologize for, but we want to make the world right.  So channel that guilt and do something good for others.  Get involved in an outreach activity.  When you see bullying, stand up against it.  When we do good things for others, we tend to feel better about ourselves.

Talk to Someone About It
Still, guilt can be overwhelming at times.  It can cause confusion, and sometimes we can’t overcome it alone.  There are always people there to help you deal with your guilt.  From your parents to pastors to therapists, find someone to talk to about your guilt.  

Ask God for Forgiveness
At times there really isn’t anyone but God to ask for forgiveness. Getting on our knees in prayer can go a long way to overcoming the guilt we feel.  Often we feel like we’ve betrayed Him more than anyone, and that can weigh on us.

  God is ready and willing to forgive, and we would do well to remember that he freely offers his open arms.

Accept Forgiveness
One of the hardest things to do when we feel guilty is to accept when someone forgives us.  Sometimes we are significantly harder on ourselves than others ever will be.  When we ask for forgiveness, we need to be willing to accept it.  If that becomes too difficult, it may be helpful to talk to someone who can help us figure out why we cannot seem to get over our sin.