Letting Go, Part 2: Guilt and Blame

Posted on 03/22/2015 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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Please click one of the offering plates in Second Life or at http://almcyberchurch.org, and give as the Lord leads.

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A REASON TO REJOICE

I have a reason to rejoice
I have a reason to clap my hands
I have a reason to lift my voice
and sing praises to the great I Am

I have a reason to move my feet
and take the Gospel into the street
I have a reason to lose my will
and let Jesus take full control


For you have set me feet to dancin'
You have filled my heart with joy
You have freed me from my passions
and filled me with the Holy Ghost

You have set my heart on fire
Fill my soul with your desire and
Melt me Lord 'til only you remain!


WHEN THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD

When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my heart
I will sing as David sang
When the Spirit of the Lord moves in my heart
I will sing as David sang
I will sing, I will sing, I will sing as David sang
I will sing, I will sing, I will sing as David sang


YOU ARE MY ALL IN ALL

You are my strength when I am weak
You are the treasure that I seek
You are my all in all

Seeking you as a precious jewel
Lord, to give up I'd be a fool
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
worthy is your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
worthy is your name

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame
Rising again I bless your name
You are my all in all

When I fall down you pick me up
When I am dry you fill my cup
You are my all in all

Jesus, Lamb of God
worthy is your name
Jesus, Lamb of God
worthy is your name


*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***


Last week, we started a
seven-part series titled,
"Letting Go,"
and we talked about
letting go of fear.

For you who were
inside Second Life
during the service,
you might have been
a bit distracted by
those who were playing
some inappropriate audio
during the message.

I didn't write that message
to be distraction-friendly,
so if, with the distractions,
it sounded as bad to you
as it did to me,
please accept my apologies.

And if you didn't quite
get the big picture,
or if something that was said
sounded inconceivable,
feel free to watch the video,
which you can find
on the homepage
at livingsounds.org or at
blog.meditatingchristians.com.

Okay.

So last week we talked
about letting go of Fear.

Not the fear of the Lord,
which is something
altogether different,
but the mental fear
that is caused by
compulsive thinking and
identification with the mind
and the mind-made
self, and stories,
and attachments.

We saw that
Perfect Love
casts out fear,
and that by
dwelling perfectly,
or completely,
in Eternal Love,
instead of in the
time-bound mind,
fear effortlessly
and automatically
fades away.

And this week,
let's continue this series on
Letting Go, with Part 2:
Guilt and Blame.


Guilt and blame are really
two sides of the same coin.

Blame, in this context,
is directed at others, while
Guilt is blame that is
directed at one's self.

Today, let's start off with
the inwardly-directed blame,
which is Guilt.

There are a couple of reasons
you might experience guilt.

The first one is this:

1. You are guilty.

I know, what a concept.

But not everyone knows this.
The popular secular teaching
on feeling guilt,
is that it's bad.

But if you are abusing
your wife and kids,
it's a good thing to
realize that what
you're doing is inherently evil,
and you need to stop it.

And then there is conviction.

In John 16:7-8 (NKJV),
speaking of the Holy Spirit,
Jesus says this:

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

So the Holy Spirit of God,
convicts the world of sin,
of righteousness,
and of judgment.

When you're
convicted of sin,
you tend to feel a bit guilty.

When you're
convicted of righteousness,
you tend to see your own
unrighteousness.

And when you're
convicted of judgment,
you tend to have a bit of fear
about your own
unrighteous guilty condition.

And you will see your
desperate need
for some sort of
cleansing, and
some source of
pardon.

And of course,
that opens your heart
to the preaching of the Gospel.

So letting go of
THIS type of guilt,
guilt over your own sins
for which the price
has not been paid,
is about as good a thing
as suicide.

There is something else
you MUST do
before letting it go.

And that is to........

let it go.

But I'm not
talking about
your guilt.

Instead, I'm
talking about
letting go of
your SIN.

Jesus suffered and died
in your place,
to pay the price
for your sin.

So put your trust
fully in Him.
And leave your sin
nailed to His cross.

It really is that simple.

It's common to just
talk to Him, and
give Him your life,
surrendering to Him,
asking for forgiveness
for your sins.

But however you do it,
what's important is
NOT some sort of ritual.

In fact, the thief on the cross
just asked Jesus to
remember him when He
enters His kingdom.

The heart of surrender
to and trust in Jesus
was there.
The words
didn't really matter.


Okay.

So you have realized
your own guilt,
and you have
let go of your sins,
and put your trust
in Jesus.

But you still feel guilty.

Well, are you still
holding onto sin?

Let's go back to
what we just said,
and go from there.

LET IT GO!

As long as you are
holding onto sin,
I hope you forget about
letting go of guilt.

Guilt and sin
naturally go together.

Sin without guilt
is unnatural
and destructive.

But here's an
important distinction:

Are you getting drunk
and sleeping around?

Or are you just
not "perfect"?

"I killed another baby
last night and had it
for supper,"

is slightly different from,

"I got angry yesterday
when someone cut in line
in front of me,"

or,

"I ate that whole
chocolate cake
last night."

And here's the thing:

The still not totally
regenerated human mind
is both the
judge and jury, AND
the one on trial.

And sometimes,
it commits a crime,
then judges itself,
then commits the crime again,
then judges itself again,
then commits the crime again,
then judges itself again,
and on and on it goes.

But that's not all.

While it is both the
perpetrator of the crimes,
and the judge who
makes you suffer
for what it has done,
it STILL insists on
being in control
and on being in a
"always on and active"
setting.

Not only that,
but it generates
the strong feeling
that it is you,
and you are it.

Now, you know in your head
that you are NOT your mind.

But when you're not
actively conscious
of that fact,
you act as though
you are the thinker
who is generating
those thoughts
in your head.

And yes, you can
choose to think about
things that are pure,
lovely, of good report,
and worthy of praise.

And that is a
wonderful and
Scriptural thing
to do, for sure.

But then do you
feel as though
the thinker --
presumably YOU --
well, we can stop there.

The human mind thinks.

It is very rare that
the Spirit generates
thoughts in the mind.

It DOES happen, of course.

But most of the thoughts
that the mind generates
are earth-bound,
form-bound,
and attached to
things that ultimately
are passing away.

And remember:
The mind is
BEING renewed.

Romans 12:2 tells us
that the mind is
being renewed.

That means that
the renewal is
not yet complete.

So when you
feel resentment,
or anxiety,
or GUILT
about those things,
remember the source.

The thoughts of the mind,
even if they are ABOUT
something real,
they themselves
are not any more real
than the monster
in your closet or
under your bed.

And it is enough to
recognize the true source
of the thoughts in your head,
and to know that
that source is not YOU,
but the mind,
which is still
a work in progress.

And the guilt it generates
about things that
don't even exist,
is just a fantasy.

And you can let it go.


As a side note here,
Jesus does warn that
thoughts you entertain
about, for example,
sexual impurity or
anger and rage,
are sin.

But what would happen
if you took a step back,
saw the mind
tricking you into
feeding it and
serving its lusts,
and came back
to reality, to
Life in the
Eternal Now,
instead?

Try it and see.

See the mind
generating those thoughts;
and by seeing it,
you realize you are
NOT the mind.

And then come back
to reality -- the only
time Life can happen.

Feel the life
in your hands,
and the breath
in your lungs.

Hear the sounds
all around you.

Be in the temple
with the Great
I AM.

And the lustful,
prideful,
rageful,
fearful,
vengeful,
and
guilt-ridden
mind and its
guilt-generating
thoughts,
will lose their power.

You see,
When you stop
taking part in
ungodly thoughts,
you stop sharing
in the guilt
of those thoughts.
And those thoughts,
no longer being
empowered by
your entertaining them,
or your fighting them,
or your condemning them,
cannot continue
all on their own.

You come back
to Presence;
and the insanity
will fade away.


Okay,
so we've talked a bit
about ONE side
of the coin of blame,
the blame that
is directed inward.

But that leaves
the OUTWARD
flow of blame.

Usually, we blame others
for our own suffering.

"I am dysfunctional
because my parents
were unfit, and
they ruined me."

"I am poor because
I was denied opportunities
because of my gender,
or my skin color,
or the system is
just evil and wrong."

"I'm in a bad mood
because of that idiot
who did such-and-such."

"I'm unhappy because
the weather is horrible
and not what 'I'
want it to be."

And we could
go on and on.

Whether it's
another person
or a circumstance,
blame is really
a defective
mental process.

"The woman gave me to eat,"
"The serpent deceived me."

"My father abused me,"
"My mother abandoned me,"
"My boss underappreaciated me,"
"My spouse cheated on me."

They're all the same.

"Me."
"Look what was done to Me."

"Look what was done to Me
by someone who feels
like my enemy."

Whether it's the weather
or our circumstances
or another person,
inherent in that blame
are these things:

1. The person or circumstance is wrong.

Therefore, I, by implication, am right.

This is a subtle one,
but that's the
underlying principle.

2. My reactions are justified.

Whether it's self-abuse,
self-pitty,
outbursts toward others,
abuse of drugs or alcohol,
sexual misconducts,
or whatever it is,
even if it's the flesh
or the devil,
we feel less guilt
by redirecting
our self-blame
onto someone or
something else.

"The woman who YOU
gave me, gave me to eat."

"The serpent tricked me,
and I ate."

So the man blamed
God and his wife.

The woman blamed
the snake -- the devil --
and her own ability
to be deceived.

And the snake
just stuck out his tongue
at them both.


In Luke 6:37-38 (NKJV), Jesus says this:

37 "Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

Now,
we've all heart verse 37
used out of context:

"Judge not, and you shall not be judged."

This verse is frequently used
as a form of disguised blame.

It's used to say,

"YOU are judging ME.
'I' am the victim, and
YOU are the one at fault."

That goes back to
the first lie of blame:

1. The person or circumstance is wrong.
(Therefore, I, by implication, am right.)

But is that what Jesus meant?

One verse earlier, verse 36,
Jesus says,
"Be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."
"For He is kind to the unthankful and evil."

That covers both sides
of today's coin:

Guilt and Blame.

By "Judge not," I believe
Jesus meant,
"Do not be judgmental."

We could also read
this verse like so:

Do not be judgmental,
and you will not be judged.
Do not be condemning,
and you will not be condemned.
Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

Whether that judgmental,
condemning,
unforgiving attitude
is directed within
or without,
doesn't really
make much difference.

And Jesus make this
more clear in the next verse:

"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."

Now,
we usually hear
this verse used
to preach that
you should give
generously into
the offering plate.

And the principle
might apply there, too.

But that's not the context
of these words of Jesus.

Instead, He is talking
about mercy,
about forgiveness,
about kindness,
about Love.

If you give judgmentalism,
you receive it.

If you give condemnation,
you receive it.

If you give unforgiveness,
you receive it.

If you forgive,
you are forgiven.

What you give in one direction,
also is given in the other direction.

If you are judgmental and
condemning of yourself,
it will flow out in some form
to others.

And vice versa.

In other words,
to yourself or others,
is all the same.
It's as if
there is no
"you" and "others."

No divide.

No "me" and "you."

No "us" and "them."

A nasty attitude
toward others,
is self-abuse,
and the opposite
is true as well.

The fallen mind
in the other person,
is, at its root,
no different from
the fallen mind
in you.

And just as
you are not your mind,
THEY are not
THEIR mind
either.

Different minds are
programmed differently,
but the root of
their sickness
and self-exaltation
is one and the same.

And the delusion
that their thoughts
are so important,
their false self
is so real,
and that false self
is who the being is,
is how YOUR mind
and THE OTHER
person's mind
keeps you under
its control.

So what your mind
projects onto others,
it really inflicts
upon itself.

And what it
inflicts upon itself,
it projects onto others.

Does that make sense?

The direction of your guilt
and your blame
doesn't really matter.

Except for the case of
valid guilt, which should
result in your
letting go of sin
and putting your
trust in Jesus,
guilt and blame
are just fantasies
in the head,
and the suffering
that believing
in those fantasies
causes,
can come to an end
when you wake up,
and let go of the
guilt and blame,
and live fully
in the temple,
hearing what is now,
seeing what is now,
feeling what is now,
without judging it,
labeling it,
conceptualizing it.


Are you willing
to let go of guilt?

To let go of blame?

Being a lowly or
even a horrible
person,
is who some
think they are.

It's a mind-generated
self that isn't
even real,
it's just in the head,
but people
get attached to it
and believe that's
who they are.

And being a victim
is the other side
of the same coin.

Are you willing
to let go of
guilt and blame?

In other words,
are you willing
to wake up?


Perhaps you are
thinking,
"No, I can't,
because I'm a failure."

or,

"No, I can't,
because of such-and-such
or so-and-so."

And the guilt
and the blame
self-perpetuate.

But you can
ask God
for help,
and then
wake up
anyway.

"You can't because..."

and you acknowledge
that the mind is
thinking that thought,
and you don't
take that thought
seriously anymore.

So the mind thinks
I can't wake up from it.

Okay.

And you feel the Life
in your body,
and the air
on your face,
and you hear the sounds
all around you,
right here,
right now.

And no matter
what excuses
the mind
throws at you,
they are just thoughts.

And you no longer
take them so seriously.

You HAVE a thinker,
a thinker who has
created a self
it thinks is you.

It can't know
the real you,
so it creates one,
and defends it
to the very end.

Defends it.

And abuses it.

And loves it.

And hates it.

And builds it up.

And tears it down.

Are you willing
to step out of the drama,
and just Be?

Just Be Free?