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2/18/10

The Guilt Trip

We all love to go on a trip. The beaches with soft sand and golden sunrises call my name. The mountains in spring as the young deer graze in the cove. A trip to West Virginia to see family. These are all trips that I love and look forward to.
But there is one trip hat nobody likes to take, yet we do it all the time. That's right. I'm talking about the Guilt Trip. How many times do you do something or NOT do something and then make yourself feel guilty? How many, I should've and I could've's take up time during your day.
I was thinking about this earlier when I didn't forward an email to eight people so I could have money in four days. Right after I deleted it, I felt guilty. It's just like those emails that if you love Jesus you will pass this on. Here is where they get you with the guilt.
If you don't pass it on, does it mean you don't love Jesus? If you do pass it on, are you taking away valuable time from something you SHOULD be doing.
It got me to thinking. If I am doing God's work and living the life He wants me to live, He already knows I love Jesus and me sending or not sending an email will not prove that love. I've read a lot in the bible in 38 years I've been saved. And I don't recall in the old or the new testaments anywhere that says "Thou shalt forward all emails that come your way."
Now, I'm not saying that there are not some good ones out there. I forward those because they have a good message or inspiring story or simply a good laugh for the day. I don't forward them because my Christianity is at stake.
I'm not sure why we feel guilty when we don't forward every email. We have so many other things in our lives that we should feel guilty for, but we don't. When I abuse my body by lifting on things that are too heavy, does it enter my mind that I should take better care of myself? No.
When I eat that extra Reese cup, knowing it's not good for me, do I feel guilty? No. When I have a chance to say or do something good and I don't take it, do I feel guilty? No. Most times we don't even realize we had an opportunity and passed it up.
So I have decided that from now on, I won't feel guilty if I don't pass on every email that comes my way. If I think the message is good or I just want to pass it on for the fun of it, I will. But I'll save my guilt for those times I really need it. Like falling asleep before I say my prayers or forgetting to read the bible that night. Or not lending a helping hand when I can. Those will be my guilt trips and hopefully they will be short trips and few and far between.

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