FaithStreet.com published an article on overcoming guilt and learning to forgive ourselves which is taken from my latest book, Broken Gods: Hope, Healing and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart which is available in stores as of today! I hope you enjoy the article.
It’s practically impossible to underestimate our capacity for making the same mistakes over and over again. We commit the same sins. Repeat the same patterns. Fall down in the same place. We often respond to this tendency with guilt, shame, and disappointment in ourselves.
But what if there was a way to not only leave this tendency for self-condemnation behind, but also to experience freedom from our own destructive habits? Would you take it?
Understanding the trap
Classically, the Seven Deadly Sins — pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust — represent the most common ways we disappoint ourselves and others. Each is a habit we hate to love and whether or not we acknowledge it, every one of us wrestles with one or more of them.
Whether we fight and fall or freely indulge in these destructive habits, few of us can deny their attraction or our struggle to resist falling under their influence. As Oscar Wilde famously put it, “I can resist everything but temptation.”
We think that the only way to free ourselves from the grip of these struggles is to make ourselves feel bad enough that we don’t want to go down that path ever again. Ironically, it is just this strategy that tends to set us up.
The worse we make ourselves feel about indulging these sins, the more we gravitate toward them to seek relief from the pain of our guilt. It is a cycle as depressing as it is familiar.
Finding the way out
The reason so many of us get stuck in this obsessive cycle is that we try to address our problems in ways that entirely miss the engines that drive them. In Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the Seven Longing of the Human Heart, I argue that hidden behind the seven deadly sins are seven divine longings — desires given to us by God that have been twisted because of the Fall.
While our natural attempt to fight brokenness involves trying to avoid our flaws and failings, the only way we can be delivered from our pain is to discover the hidden longings behind our sins. Then, not only can we identify ways to satisfy those deeper desires and set ourselves free from the obsessive sin-guilt cycle of sin and guilt, but we can also discover God’s plan for our ultimate fulfillment.
Uncovering our seven divine longings
Hiding behind the seven deadly sins of pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust are divine longings for abundance, dignity, justice, peace, trust, well-being, and communion, respectively. Let’s break them down a bit. READ THE REST AT FAITHSTREET.COM