Guilt by Association?

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Guilt by association has always been a bit confusing to me. At the root of the idea, we are judged by those we hang around. In some situations, I have to agree with this. If like attracts like, then it only makes sense; we embrace the ideas of those with whom we choose to spend our lives. It might even be assumed we embrace the opinions of those we choose to converse with regularly. Since like does attract like we are usually pretty correct in our thinking when associating someone’s ideas with those they continually connect.

Sometimes we are subject to other’s life choices even though we disagree with them. When the guilty flag gets attached to our behind because of the choices of loved ones, their actions, or behavior, life becomes unfair. Whatever a person’s choices are, they can unfairly become our problem when others view them as wrong, but we suffer the consequences.

There can be times when those we love make decisions we can’t possibly agree with, but we love the person just the same. Outsiders might not look at this the same way. They see our continued love as meaning we support all of their ideas and actions. This can be a far cry from the truth. It is entirely possible to love people but not agree with or love their actions. We can even separate our lives from that part of their life or even most of their life. Whatever our personal choice is would be totally up to our discretion.

Being deemed guilty by association is fair when we participate in discretionary deeds or partake of the same ideas. If we are not involved, then the deeds, thoughts, ideas, and choices belong to the one making them. Sometimes it takes a drastic step away not to be associated with another’s actions, and sometimes we leave their lives altogether. It’s a matter of the degree of the issue. If someone’s actions or ideas grossly violate our own ethical, moral standards and boundaries, then a life disconnect might be the only move to make.

Sometimes I speak from experience, and other times I speak from merely the knowledge I have gleaned from. In this case, I speak from experience. I know what it is like to have my life torn apart because of the actions of others. Who can stop the flying judgment arrows when someone close to us makes a very discretionary choice?

I have suffered my degree of humiliation and have even had to lose almost everything I worked hard for because of someone’s actions in my life. I had no control of their actions, and I had no control of other’s responses. Unfortunately, I had no control of my losses either. My experience still hurts to this day. Others’ judging hearts caused so many losses in my life that I left everything in my life behind me. I moved, and I moved on. Moving does not change the events or even the painful part. The hard part is when the judgment comes from those we would expect it should not.

Thank God I have my spiritual support from God. I would not have survived the slow bleeding in my life that went on for years, not months or days, years. There has been a long road, and over 2000 miles traveled toward a way to find healing. I’m still not there yet. The slower the bleed, the longer it takes to heal; apparently.

Loving you from here,

Dr. Rev. Jenine Marie Howry, Ph.D.

Freedom from Guilt and Shame

canstockphoto11547372-300x199It’s a miracle that we get through this life as an intact person when we are attacked almost daily with the haunting of the things which have occurred in our lives. It’s not just about the things which have happened TO us, or things we have done to others, but even more about the way we handle the aftermath. Honestly, we often treat ourselves much worse than others have ever treated us. It’s sad when we do this because it is completely unnecessary. We live in a society that fosters more insecurity and self hatred than one person could even consume in a lifetime. Our hope is that we do have relief from the effects of what happens around us in Jesus.

Regardless to how things transpired; whether someone did something to you or you did something to someone else, you don’t have to live with two of the more devastating life draining conditions we humans tend to take upon ourselves. The two that I am speaking about are guilt and shame. First let me clarify what these two things are:

Guilt:

Guilt is where we take upon ourselves condemnation for something we have done or perceived we have done. Guilt attacks our “right standing“, or righteousness.

Shame:

Shame is when we take upon ourselves condemnation regarding how we see ourselves as a person. Shame attacks our identity. It steals from us the truth about “who we are and whose we are”.

One of the key words here is “condemnation”. When we are in Christ Jesus there is no more condemnation in our lives. He has sacrificed already for our forgiveness.

Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”

The Real Accuser:

So who was it that really told you that you are guilty and should suffer shame? Don’t think this dilemma was your original creation. We have an enemy who is the enemy of God. This enemy is Satan. The thing you need to know and remember about this enemy is that he is the liar of all liars and has no power. Jesus is the one with all of the power. Satan just wants you to think he has it. If we look at the situation from the end we can see where Satan really stands. This is Satan’s position. He is conquered and powerless!

Revelation: 12: (9-11) “And the great dragon was hurled down—the ancient serpent called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and  of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down, he who accuses them day and night before our God. They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…”.

As you can see, Satan is a defeated foe. Jesus tells you that you are saved, free, and forgiven. These are the edifications that come from your Savior. These are the things that come from the Holy Spirit; the spirit of truth. So who are you going to believe? If you want forgiveness and to walk in right standing then ask Jesus for it! If you want to be reminded of whose you are then ask Jesus to reaffirm your position with Him! There is no reason to walk in any guilt or shame in this world. They are lies that come from the evil one and they are NOT your position or identity! Let Jesus wash you with his love and forgiveness. Let Him be your “truth” because He IS the truth.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”.

As you can see, all that is asked for is a confession. Jesus is faithful and will forgive us when we are in need of it.

A Prayer for You! 

Dear Jesus, Please reveal to me any wrong doing on my part and forgive me for my actions. I confess those things to You now. Forgive me for not walking in the truth and for being harder on myself than I should. I release to You now, any thoughts of guilt regarding actions I have done or have perceived to have done. I also release to you any beliefs that place shame upon me. This is not my identity! I ask You to remove them completely from me now. Help me to see myself in “right standing” and also to see myself as a recipient of your grace, mercy, and forgiveness. I am Your child; a child of the King. I accept no other description within my conscience. Thank You for loving me and for allowing me to walk in freedom! Amen and amen!

 

Hebrews 10:22, “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Walking free with you,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

Jenine Marie Coaching

800-421-1765