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Eric’s Sunday Sermon; Guilt

Updated on September 15, 2019
Ericdierker profile image

A life long pursuit and the results. Doctorates and experience sometimes do not mean much. Just listening is my expertise.

Kind of Cool

Sorry I cannot remember if SF or DC.
Sorry I cannot remember if SF or DC. | Source

For the Love of Guilt

Guilt should be spelled “gilt” so it could formally be a four letter word. It would seem we could say that guilt is an absence of love. Yes guilt is a denial of loving ourselves. Bearing the guilt of our fathers? Really? I think there might even be guilt therapists.

Anyhow let us check out the pros and cons of guilt and how to deal with it and view it. Now the last thing we need is someone feeling guilty about feeling guilt. And of course we should take a look from the legal concept of guilty. Let us just say that guilt is really interesting. Oh and let us take some guilty pleasure. LoL.

Perhaps we could come up with a definition of guilt that most could accept. It is of note that there are different definitions from different places. It is also of note that many don’t even include the notion of guilt as an emotion or state of mental unrest. Almost all start off with the legal concept. Now come on people that is nonsense. The clear leader in usage is about our feeling of guilt. Now the second is not even guilt but guilty like a criminal. Synonyms do little justice to guilt.

I do my darndest yet sometimes fail at using guilt on my children. Funny about that but sometimes they make me feel guilty because they felt guilty because of what I said or did. I tell you now that guilt is one sneaky and omnipresent deal. Even writing this sermon about it gets all slivery like a serpent.

Perhaps we should then but the concepts into some format so we will try to break down into areas. Let’s try to do it this way; psychologically, legally, biblically and then try to figure out a cure.

Most assuredly all these dovetail into each other because, what the heck, it is the same word. Although in this instance I will coin a new term “morphing word”. “hit” is kind of like this. It has so many different usages that it must drive an ESL mad yet they all derive from one notion.


Who's Rules?

I wonder who gets to make up the rules of guilt.
I wonder who gets to make up the rules of guilt. | Source

You Are So Guilty!

Psychology is really cool in this area. Perception is the key. Real or imagined. Yes more often than not the guilt derives from non-reality. Now our mind is a trip. It can play wild games with our heart. Have you ever loved someone and wanted them to love you so you unconsciously create a reality that they love you back. I will think I was fifty before I realize I have imaginary thoughts that affect me hard core. (I am sorry but I think that “effect” and “affect” morph into each other they more often than not mean the same thing yet critics always deny that and all prissy if you use the “wrong”) Sorry I digressed but you can see it was for a reason.

Well we will be gaul darned but guilt is a totally made up emotion. “She made me mad when she spoke like that”. Now that is understandable. “He laid a guilt trip on me”. The slight nuance there is important in psychology. A difference between shame and guilt – ugly twins is interesting here. A guilt trip is intention manipulation of another. 90% of the time we do something that makes one sad or mad but that is not our goal. The other % is reserved for psychos. Although I admit to being one. Get a witness on the stand to get all angry or weepy and you own them go figure, trial lawyers. All that is the psychology of the matter. Pyschologists cure this by using a method I call “self speak”. Our little brain talks us into guilty, and that same brain can march us right out. That is so cool. “I ‘should’ feel guilty.” Into “Eric you have nothing to feel guilty about”. It does not mean an end to feeling or self assessment. It just reframes the issue. There is an old saying about debate of any kind; He who defines the issue wins. So our shrinks teach us much here. I can choose not to be guilty. That excites this old man.

Legal. “Every man is innocent until proven guilty yet no man is innocent”. (OK I admit that one is mine, how shameful ;-) I just love the term “proven guilty”. And check out the test for that here in the U.S.. “Beyond a reasonable doubt”. That is cray cray. Back to psychology. You cannot tell me my doubt is not reasonable, it is to me. The notion that the facts make one guilty ends up being a bunch of hogwash. The legal world should change that term. It should just be “convicted” by his peers. You can find wrong enough to convict me but you cannot make me guilty.

The arguments of self-defense and justification are awesome. I have never done a single thing without being justified in it. I have never hurt a person without it being self-defense, yet I am a guilty man, when I so chose.

Looking around and up the word guilt in legal beagle type definitions I found something strange. In law we say guilty and almost never guilt. And in Civil, lawsuits not determining criminality we say “liable”. But some brainless wonders actually publish that they are the same. But I say the distinction for a reason. I am liable for a wrong done to you. But I have no guilt about it. I just missed the mark. And that is not self-loathing. I pay the price and move on.

Who's Guilty?

"I did not eat your chocolate daddy". Guilt is so funny it will make you belly laugh.
"I did not eat your chocolate daddy". Guilt is so funny it will make you belly laugh. | Source

My Fav Orchestra


Biblical. Now just hold on a minute here. The Christian has a good job of doing her best to avoid sin. Sin would be like back to our legal or committing a crime. Deal with it. Repent you moron. But feel guilty about it and all you need do is truly repent. Repent generally means to turn around and walk the right path. Like Paul’s worrying, guilt helps you not. So you screwed up, you were designed that way. Get up and dust yourself off and do better. Ask for that forgiveness in earnest and receive it. You do not even deserve it but you get it.

Some folks talk about unpardonable sins like denying or cursing God. Get a life and read the bible. Peter was “guilty” of both. He did just fine and dandy. You go ahead and feel guilty, God does not convict anyone, not his court. He wants you to do better not punish you.

Check this out. Some Christian Sects, will not sit on a jury because only God can judge and man’s innocence or guilt. Well I hope they never walk down a Detroit back street when the guy in a hoody jumps out with a shiv and demands their wallet. I suggest they judge real quickly and toss out their wallet and run. Of course unless they are Jackie Chan.

Cure. Of course if you know me the answer is clear. Love. One good synonym for guilt is self-loathing. I used to do it. But admit it that makes no sense if you love yourself. If you loath your spouse get counseling toot sweat. If you loath yourself get it quicker. We are aware of guilt thank God. So we can get rid of it by loving ourselves enough not to write that script of guilt. And believe me, you can rewrite your book at any time. Now go lay on a guilt trip on your TV!


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