My Sis and I erupted in laughter when we saw the quote on the front of a sweatshirt: “You might be Lutheran if you feel guilty over not feeling guilty.”
We’re both grateful for our Lutheran upbringing. Our laughter wasn’t mean-spirited. It was more like the self-deprecating humor people share when they’re among people they love. And my Sis and I loved our church.
Of course, like most jokes, they’re funny because there’s a dot of truth to them. Such is the case with my recent bout of “Lutheran” guilt. Lately, I’m feeling guilty over not feeling guilty.
You see, sometimes I cuss.
It bothers me. Rightly so. The Living Bible’s version of today’s verse says,
“… but now is the time to cast off and throw away all these rotten garments of anger, hatred, cursing, and dirty language.”
God says I shouldn’t cuss. Sometimes I do. Therefore, I feel guilty. The struggle to get over my potty-mouth is real. Over the past twelve months, I’ve…
Read articles on cussing.
Given up quitting cussing.
And finally, cursed cussing.
The hope that I could change my ways began to feel as futile as hoping the french fries under my car seat would get better with time.
But recently, something has started to shift. And like most good things from God, it began as a whisper. My frustration, guilt, and self-contempt were about to get the better of me. Fortunately, God reminded me of something I already knew, but for some reason, I had forgotten to apply. He whispered:It’s not about what you do or don’t do. It’s about who you are. Click To Tweet
If freedom looked like a flowchart, the next two bubbles would be:
- Failure to modify behavior is full of guilt.
- Seeing oneself as God does is full of hope.
And now you know why I’m struggling with feeling guilty over not feeling guilty. When I slip up, I still have regret. The difference is that I no longer park in the place of “dirty-mouthed, shame-faced Cindy.”
The conversation with God looks more like this,
“I’m sorry, God. Forgive me. I know you don’t see me as ‘that person.’ Please help me remember who I really am.”
If the question of ‘who you are’ has you stumped, I’ve got a simple answer.
You are His.
When our mouths are a hot mess, we can bathe in the shadow of the cross and come out from behind with a clean cry, “I am my beloved’s, and He is mine!”
God is showing me that even if I have to push the re-start button every sixty seconds, it doesn’t change how He sees me. A disappointing behavior doesn’t cause God to see me as a disappointment. This motivates me to change. Instead of feeling stuck in defeat, I feel inspired to rise and be the person God sees me as.
When there is a habit in our lives we’re struggling with, whether it be our mouth or some other area, we can rest in the truth that God is passionate about wanting to do life with us. Consequently, He will use both our “hits” and our “misses” to remind us of who we are—His.