Get the Nail Gun: Understanding Your Guilt

But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in this most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right at the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. –Jude 1:21

 

The world does not know what to do with all our guilt.  It affects every person and what we think about.  Guilt is much more destructive then Hurricane Katrina ever was. People talk about being crippled by guilt.  Psychiatrists have come out and said that 80% of their patients could be healed if people could resolve their guilt and their remorse for their past sins.  So much drinking and drug abuse is simply trying to numb yourself, if just for a little while.  Forgiving yourself is not an easy thing.  We must remember that all sin committed ultimately is against Jesus, and we must put our hearts in position for grace and mercy to fill us.  The Holy Spirit hovers over us, and yet He does not condemn.  He is not the accuser; He is the Helper and the Comforter.  The Holy Spirit convicts but He will not condemn.

Satan has a ministry–it is to accuse you before the Father.  He is malicious and savage.  He delights in reminding you of your sin and evil. He unceasingly pounds you.  The devil has an evil plan for your life, and works continuously to implement it.  Guilt and remorse are just two weapons at his disposal.

We honor God when we accept our sin, and His forgiveness.  Our verse from Jude declares that we must keep ourselves in the love that God has for us.  It takes intentional effort.  Our guilt is heavy, so we must put it down.  And then we must deliberately stand and purposefully open our outstretched arms to His forgiveness.  We need to “keep ourselves in the love of God”.  I get out my “spiritual nail gun” and fix myself in His love.

Guilt is like wounding ourselves.  Satan pokes our wound in order irritate it.  We learn to hide it from God, and others.  But these things are killing us. It’s like having gangrene. And the brutal sorrow and regret consume us.  I guess that is why we have Jude 1:21 in the first place.

Combat’s Hidden Toll: 1 in 10 Soldiers Report Mental Health Problems

Soldiers Report PTSD Symptoms and Other Mental Health Problems
 
By KIM CAROLLO
ABCNews Medical Unit
June 9, 2010

Even though he’s retired from active military duty, CSM Samuel Rhodes still suffers from deep emotional wounds.

“I had to take this afternoon off from work today because of anxiety,” he said. “And sometimes, if I’m going through a really tough time, I think about suicide.”

He spent nearly 30 years in the Army and recently spent 30 straight months deployed in Iraq where he, like many soldiers, witnessed some of the horrors of war.

“In April 2005, it started to eat me up because I started losing one soldier after another,” Rhodes said. “We lost 37 soldiers that were in my unit.”

He was in charge of the brigade of 37 soldiers, and as time wore on, the loss of life wore him down.

“In April 2007, it came full circle. I considered suicide as an option. I felt guilty about losing those soldiers, even though I had no control over it,” he said.

“And I was sleepwalking. I had to tie myself to my cot to prevent it,” he added.

Later, during his 24th month in Iraq, he was found unconscious, and doctors diagnosed him with exhaustion. At that time, the combat stress doctor told him he was also suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

“He started explaining it to me, and I realized he was right,” Rhodes said.

And according to a new study conducted by researchers at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Rhodes’ mental health problems are common among soldiers returning from Iraq.

Between 2004 and 2007, researchers gave out anonymous surveys to four active duty brigade combat teams and two National Guard combat team three months and 12 months after deployment. The surveys screened soldiers for PTSD, depression, alcohol misuse and aggressive behavior and asked them to report whether these problems impacted their ability to get along with others, take care of things at home or perform their job duties.”A high number of those that had symptoms of PTSD and depression also reported some aspect of impairment,” said Jeffrey L. Thomas, one of the study’s co-authors. “The range was about 9 to 14 percent.” Depression rates ranged from 5 percent to 8.5 percent.

But by using a less stringent definition of PTSD, they found between 20 and 30 percent of soldiers showed symptoms of PTSD, while they found between 11.5 to 16 percent of them were depressed.

Full article, please go to:  http://abcnews.go.com/Health/MindMoodNews/10-soldiers-fought-iraq-mentally-ill/story?id=10850315&page=2

Speck Analysis

Why do you stare from without at the very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam of timber that is in your own eye?
Matthew 7, Amplified Bible

 

We have an incredible capacity for self-deception.  We operate on the premise that by condemning another person, we will be a more spiritual person.  I have this extreme tendency to look for issues that I can zap, point my finger at, all to build myself up inside.  This very common approach to spirituality has been identified and denounced by our Lord.

But it is so easy to do, and to be frank, so satisfying to practice.  Jesus makes it out to be absurd, almost comical in strange way.  A bit of dust becomes the center of attention; a big plank is ignored.  I think we all get the picture, and it is laughable!  Or is it?

The speck can be just about anything.  It is an irritant, but it also is small.  We know it is present, we can’t just ignore it.  The plank also can be just about anything, and a speck and a plank have considerable differences.  With our huge plank though, we can still make out that tiny particle in our neighbor’s eye. Interesting.

Jesus’ wants us to renounce this false deception, and not to let it mislead us anymore.  We cannot go around identifying evil in others–and minimize our own.  I don’t want to do this anymore, I can’t do this anymore.

Part of verse 7, tells us to “consider”.  We are being instructed to evaluate our own condition, before we take the next step of helping out another.  Know yourself first.  Measure that plank, know its dimensions, understand what you are dealing with.  And don’t be reaching out to your brother’s issue.  It may make you feel spiritual and mature, but it is also foolish and ill-advised.

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