Dealing with Guilt

Earlier this month one of my first novels, The Storekeeper’s Daughter, was re-released. This book deals with the kidnapping of an Amish child, and the oldest daughter in the family, Naomi, was the one who left her little brother, Zach on the picnic table with a stranger. What did Naomi’s behavior after her brother was kidnapped reveal about her character and feelings of guilt? Was Naomi’s guilt justified?

Have you ever felt responsible for something and became consumed with guilt? Did your guilty feelings cause you to do things you might not have otherwise done?

What are some ways that people deal with their guilt? How do you think God wants us to deal with our feelings of guilt?

Comments

  1. Dear Wanda,

    Thank you for these thought-provoking questions.

    I think people deal with their guilt in various ways and it depends, too, on whether they are born again or not. Some may pretend that everything is fine, but they feel hurt and shame on the inside. Some may just try to ‘bury’ it away from their thoughts by dwelling upon other things. Unfortunately, some may become mean-spirited and take it out on others.

    Ultimately, God desires that we bring it to Him and ask forgiveness. We read in 1 John 1:9 that if that guilt (or ANY sin) is confessed, God WILL forgive it. He just wants us to be honest and humbly come to Him.

    Many times this is all easier said and done. Until The Lord comes to claim His own, there will always be the battle between the flesh and the spirit, but there IS victory in The Lord Jesus Christ.

    Than you again for all you do for Him!

    In Calvary’s Bond and Christian Love,
    Judy

  2. Wanda,

    We have all expereienced guilt at one time or another. Thank our Heavnly Father for letting me know that He does not give us guilt and that is comes from our ememy. For me when I start feeling gulity I know that I can go into prayer and ask our Father to remove this guilt and ask for forgiviness.

    Tina Loveless

  3. Some times guilt is placed on us by others. I know, I know., people will say that it is our fault if we let that happen BUT what if it is put there by a family member who happens to be in the parental role? How do you deal with that? I know in my life….I have guilt that I haven’t been able to let go of but I’m not quite sure what I have done to have this guilt thrown on me by family. It has taken its toll. I’m quite sick of agonizing over it. I would like nothing more than to turn it all over to God without taking it back time and time. I know this guilt is not of God. I just don’t know how to walk away from it.

  4. Abigail says:

    Dear Mrs. Brunstetter,
    I just finished this series not that long ago and I could not put the books down. I just had to know what happened next.We will always battle with guilt no matter how hard we try to avoid it.The only way we can have relief from guilt is when we go to God in prayer and ask Him to remove the guilt and ask Him to forgive us.Thank you for all that you do for Him!

    In Christ,
    Abigail

  5. Anita McIlveen says:

    It has been a while since I read this book but I do remember it. I think Naomi took more guilt upon herself than needed. And she held onto it far too long, causing untold heartache. It is better to take our concerns to God and find peace through confession, repentance and surrender. In times like these, we need the Holy Spirit’s comfort to our souls.

  6. wow what a Question. yes I have done something that has me feeling guilty and I wonder what would life be like if it didnt happen. people always tell me dont blame your self, and its not your falt, but this person told me something and didnt tell me that others didnt know so when I talk to the other party about it and they didnt know I was shocked and then life changed! It has been 15 pluss years but I still think what if I didnt say anything what would of happend? I didnt run away but my walk with God suffered from it. I am a growing stronger as christion now, and know God knows everything and has a plan for us. I know God want us to let it go and he will take care of us.

  7. Norma Stanfoth says:

    Yes, it is so hard to get away from feeling guilt in small thing, like you should of done something for someone and you didn’t do it, or something big, like Naomi let Zach be kidnap. In ” The Storekeeper’s Daughter ” great book, no matter what it is if you turn it over to GOD and ask for foregiveness and truely mean it He will foregive you. He is a loving heavenly Father. He will be with you always. GOD bless everyone.

  8. As humans, I think we all have things that happen in our lives that cause us to react or behave in certain ways. Sometimes, those ways are not Godly or spiritual. When those times come up, I believe we need to repent. That’s the only way we can be released from those feelings of guilt. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for our lives, and He wants us to prosper. He can help us grow into stronger and better people through the difficult times. I try to always remember that “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose”. Without those comforting scriptures, I don’t know what I’d do!

  9. Sandra Laird says:

    Wanda, I remember this story well, I understand her guilt, as I have had feelings of guilt for things that I have said, and wish I hadn’t. Everyone handles guilt differently and I am no exception. I started going to church about five years ago and by doing so I have learned to trust in the lord and ask for his help when things aren’t going the way I feel they should. I find that by helping others has helped me become a better person and more willing to trust in God.

  10. Beverly says:

    I think forgiving ourselves is as important as forgiving others and That is something that needs to be worked on seriously with Gods’ help. Realizing that my Heavenly Father Loves and forgives me has helped me forgive myself….hope this helps someone. Forgiving is not excusing but accepting His forgiveness.

  11. Jane Staiger says:

    I feel that we have all had feelings of guilt at one time or another. And it is how you, yourself deals with them, that matters. Some have lashed out at God and others, placing blame where it doesn’t belong. Somehow, they think it makes them feel better. But, in the long haul, you have to deal with the guilt yourself. Between you and your God…..that is the only way to make amends. Faith can get you where you need to be in your life. And reaching out to others who care……makes a guilty trip so much easier to bear! God Bless us all!

  12. Paula Osborne says:

    Guilt …I am sure we all have at one time or another felt this emotion. I sometimes buy another book when I have so many that I have not read yet and then tell my husband I received it from a friend so he wont know that I bought it. silly little things for me.
    what of the man that has done things wrong in life and has guilty feelings, I know he can give them to God and feel free again but does he?
    this story of the amish girl leaving a brother with a stranger probably would not happen in real life, I think they are very protective of their children.
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

  13. We are taught that forgiveness is one of the things we must do to please God. We should pray for our enemies. I can understand how Naomi felt. How could she not take care of her brother, how careless she was. It hurts our heart when we do something wrong. Forgiveness to other people is hard, but forgiving ourselves I thoroughly believe is the hardest. We expect alot from ourselves when people trust us to do things. Her feelings are understandable and my heart broke for her when I read the book. I would be devastated if it happened to me. God Bless us all.

  14. Brenda Mo says:

    It will be nice to re-read this wonderful book.

  15. I think we probably all experience guilt to some degree sometime in our lives. Guilt is usually suppressed and kept inside of ourselves. I feel that alot of people try and forget it by feelings that they do not deserve good things to happen to them. I had a friend with terrible guilt and every time someone said something nice to him he would do something “bad” that would counter act the goodness done – so he thought. We always can seem to forgive or forget others but we can never forgive ourselves as easily. When we feel guilt we seem to second guess our actions. What if’s or maybe if I would have’s. Amish people are very forgiving – remember Nickel Mines. Tho I myself would have felt guilty if I left the child along and that would have happened.

  16. I remember talking to my minister after my marriage failed. I felt guilt. We talked for some time about forgive and forget. He told me I would have a hard time forgetting what I had been going through but it would fade in time. Forgiving wasn’t telling my ex-husband he was forgiven as much as it was telling myself that I was forgiven. When I worked throw my guilt of the marriage and forgave myself I could move on and let others see a stronger independent me. Naomi had to forgive herself first. Very good book!

  17. I believe we all deal with guilt in different ways. Naomi did nothing wrong and yet suffered deeply which is a burden many of us carry. I am blessed to know that Christ suffered, shed his blood, and died for me. Because of his sacrifice I can be forgiven, but often times we have a hard time forgiving ourselves. At these times is when we need to pray and let God take over.

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