Emotions - Guilt

I’m in my 40’s. I’ve known and served the Lord my entire life and I have been what I think has been a good daughter. But I have devoted my life to serving my mother and it is interfering with what I think God has planned for me. And I wonder if maybe this is what God has planned for me and I’m just fighting it. In other words, did He put me on this earth to serve my mother and to honor her by putting my life aside? Because it seems like whenever I try to break away and go and serve, then something develops with my mother and I’m brought back with guilt and it’s over. That’s why I’m calling you because the resentment is growing in me, the guilt is growing in me and I just feel like, “when is God going to make it easy so I can serve him and not feel the way that I do?" Can you point me to something in the Bible?

That’s a great question. And number one, I want you to know that when guilt is the motivating factor behind us helping our relatives, we’re wrong. We’re already out of the will of God because guilt is a terrible taskmaster. Guilt is a terrible Lord. And it obviously has been a Lord in you life for some time. And you need to be free from that. You need to do what you do out of love and gratitude, not out of guilt, no matter how much guilt that your mother or anybody else tries to put on you.

I think that you can do two things. First of all, there are times when God asks people to lay down what they’re doing to serve somebody else, to serve God in some way, to serve a relative or a loved one in some way, and there’s nothing wrong with that when God is the one speaking that and God is the one initiating that. But when the person is trying to make us feel guilty to do that, then they are trying to control us and manipulate us and you need to make up your mind that you’re not going to be manipulated.

There’s nothing wrong with being able to help your mother with the other part of the life that you want to live. You go on with the life that God, that you believe God has for you. And still, you’ll be able to serve your mother. But you can’t be manipulated by her and you can’t be controlled by her. It’s not right that somebody induces guilt to get you to show love because then it’s not genuine and it’ll never be enough and it’ll only make you bitter years from now. You’ve already probably feel tempted to start feeling bitter. I’m sure you’ve dealt with bitter feelings.

And yes, I can point you to something in the Bible. I want to ask you get my tape because I know it’s all from the Bible. It’s a tape we did a few months ago called, “Not Guilty.” I want you to get that. That’s the most important thing that you need to hear in your life right now. And it talks about how to not let people make you feel guilty and other things you’ve done wrong. Go to the products section on the website and you should be able to find it.

Emotions - Guilt

I am married and have two children. My husband wants more children, but I don’t think I do. Why do I feel guilty about not wanting more children? Is that God’s way of talking to me?

You and your husband should read over Amos 3:3 together. That verse says, “How can two walk together unless they are in agreement?” One of the most important ingredients in a successful marriage is that the husband and wife be in agreement about the decisions they make. If one of them is not in agreement, then they need to table that situation until the Lord changes that person’s heart, or that person changes his or her mind, or until the other person changes his or her mind.

So you shouldn’t move forward with having more children until you are both in agreement. You shouldn’t move forward in getting a dog unless you are both in agreement. You shouldn’t move forward in selling your house and buying a new one unless you are both in agreement. You should not move forward with any big decision unless you are both in agreement.

God does not speak to us through guilt. Guilt is something that the devil wants us to feel because he never wants us to be happy about the choices we make. God, on the other hand, speaks through peace. It says in Psalm 85 that God speaks peace to his children. So, if you are feeling peace about having another child, then that is a good sign that God is speaking to you, but if you feel guilty about not having more, then that usually is not the Lord speaking to you.