In the U.S. we’re all gearing up to celebrate the 4th of July, our nation’s Independence Day. But there’s another type of freedom you may need to pursue and claim.
- Struggle to let go of the regrets you have regarding past “messes” you’ve made?
- Continually feel responsible for the pain and consequences others are experiencing?
- Beat yourself up continually for the ways you’ve failed others?
- Feel like a “loser” for making mistakes in your past?
Then maybe you’ve not taken proper responsibility for your wrongs.* Maybe you need to feel and express “remorse” rather than giving in to the feelings of guilt and regret. Let me clarify here: If you feel “false guilt” for something you had no control over, then these steps may not help you.* But if you’re responsible or “guilty” of the wrongs you’ve committed, and can’t let go of the feelings of guilt, then you may need to find healing in “remorse.” Otherwise you’ll get stuck—be held hostage—by your inward focus.
Here’s the difference between “remorse” and “lingering guilt” …
- Remorse is active or even better—proactive, whereas guilt leads to a victim-mentality.
- Remorse takes responsibility, whereas guilt leads to self-pity and wallowing.
- Remorse is other-centered, whereas guilt is self-centered.
5 Ways to Express and Experience Remorse …
1. Acknowledge your wrong.
By confessing your wrong to God and others affected with an apology that specifically describes the wrongs you committed, you pave the way to freedom.
2. Empathize with those you’ve hurt.
Take the time to consider their losses because of your actions. Let your mental focus be on the offended, instead of on your pain.
3. Listen and understand.
Let them share their pain with you, refraining from “fixing it” or defending yourself. Validate that what you did was hurtful to them—that you “get” that.
4. Make amends.
Find out how you can repay or restore what was damaged. If it can’t be restored, find out what the offended would appreciate from you.
5. Receive God’s forgiveness.
He is able to forgive you because He is “Love.” If you feel you can’t forgive yourself then your focus has shifted to you again, and you’ve just insulted His amazing grace. Remember, His grace is deeper and wider than ANY sin you’ve committed.
This “remorse” is the “Godly sorrow” spoken of in 2 Corinthians 7:10.
Grab hold of it today and live in freedom!
Before I go, let me point out a few “Wise Words” I’d like you to check out. I thought these were amazing posts …
- Dealing with Grief: A Practical and Powerful Tool by Tehila
- 10 Warning Signs of an Emotionally-Unavailable Man by Lisa
- So Long Distraction … by Megan
- The Damage of High Self-Esteem Part 3 (all of them are great, though!) by Gail
Photo by Expert Infantry
*Regret and guilt can also be a problem due to PTSD. If these emotions are persistent due to a traumatic event that you were a part of or witnessed, or if you have any other mental disorders, then recognize that you need professional help to deal with this and find healing. Leave it up to your counselor to guide you through what steps you should take.
Joining with NOBH, Works for Me Wednesday, To Love Honor and Vacuum and T.G.I.F.
Now, it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!
Write in any way you feel inspired about marriage, parenthood or anything that reflects Christ’s redemption in your life.
- Enter in a permalink directly to your blog post and not the main URL to your blog.
- Be sure to include a link to Wedded Wednesday or add the WW button to your current blog post and/or sidebar.
- Visit and comment on at least one other person’s blog that’s linked up here.
Optional but encouraged:
- Consider setting up your Gravatar profile and Disqus Profile with a link to your blog … it makes it so much easier for all of us to find those of you who blog!
- If you have the time, visit those who visit your blog and comment at their place as well … sort of a “Say it forward.”
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