Guilt is not always a bad thing. It can bring about good changes, changes that will improve the way of life. When I'm guilty of something, how often do I truly regret the wrong I've done? Is it sincere? Will I honestly avoid doing it again?
Yesterday my feelings were hurt. I wasn't angry, just feeling a little low. When she realized that she hurt my feelings, my niece called me. When I answered the phone, I couldn't hear anything but sobbing. She was crying so hard that she could barely get out the words, but there they were..."I'm sorry." And I knew the words were sincere.
All of this made me wonder if we're sincere when it comes to apologizing and asking God to forgive us. Do we give a superficial "sorry," or do we feel truly remorseful? Do we come to Him with contrite hearts to repent, or do we rush to spill our excuses?
Guilt shouldn't run our lives, but it should used as a tool to protect and nurture our relationships. Like my niece, we should come as children with simple, honest penitence.
*I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom.*