Travel Agents for Guilt Trips

>> Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I’m not sure where my mother received her training … but she had it down pat.  

“Shame on you for not cleaning your plate. There are children starving in China who would love to have that food.” And so I cleaned my plate and weighed 140 pounds in grade school.  

“Do you understand there are people who live below us in this building? Don’t you care that your heavy footsteps across the floor just bothered them?” And so I basically tiptoed my way through life.  

“How could you possibly think of wearing a skirt that short? You are supposed to be a Christian. What kind of message do you want to send to others?” And so my skirts and dresses never rose higher than my calf.  

If I had a certain look on my face, I offended her … and others. If I asked (once only) to listen to something else on the radio besides sermons, again the Christian club came out. Only sinners would listen to anything else. God would be ashamed of me.  

I lived my life under the cloud of guilt.  

When I emerged from that life, I resigned as a travel agent. My children had already been on many guilt trips. We were through with that kind of traveling.  

Guilt is a useless emotion. Even if you did do something wrong … it’s already been done and you can’t undo it. Repent … apologize … whatever you need to do … and then get on with life.  

If it is someone else who is trying to manipulate you with guilt … surprise them. Don’t take that trip.

“Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work. Then I can start this day sun-washed, scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.” Psalm 19:12-13 (MSG)


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