It's generally easy for me to dodge most guilt trips from people (with the exception of my family, since they know me too well), but I realized yesterday that no one whips me with guilt more effectively than I do.
Especially when it comes to my relationship with God.
See, when I failed that economics test, my faith took one serious wobble. In fact, I'm pretty sure it isn't back where it was before I started studying.
And that made me feel bad.
I've been a Christian since I was eight, so when it comes to experience, I'm an old hand at it. So, in my mind, I shouldn't let something like a test knock a dent into my faith that God has my best interests at heart. Now that I think about it, I realize why it happened.
If I hadn't failed, I wouldn't have felt the need to start a study group and by extension, I would not have spent a profound two weeks where the three of us understood each other deeper than most of our best friends do. It was an experience that I don't regret, except that I don't think that something like that will ever happen again.
But the point is, it happens because I failed a test.
Which is all very good and well, but for the weeks after I got the results, I was beating myself up because my faith had shaken because of it.
But here's what I've come to realize after many prayers:
1) God wants me to be in a relationship with Him because I love him, not because I feel guilty about it.
2) It's better to use every free moment I have in a day (short, but many of them) in prayer, than trying to squeeze in time in the day where I'm too tired, too asleep, or too distracted to focus on God.
3) I KNEW this for years now, but lost perspective. Was it pride in my own faith? (Maybe.) Was it the devil's influence? (Probably.)
4) No matter what, no one's perfect. David wasn't. Peter wasn't. Moses wasn't. Jacob wasn't. Why should I expect to be? God doesn't expect it of me.
Still, it's a bit difficult to let go of the guilt that I've been clinging to, but luckily God is prying loose my hold finger by finger. Soon I will be free of it and stronger for it.
What about you? Ever feel really guilty about something in your Faith, only to realize that it's not so important that it deserves the focus you put on it?