Removing the Guilt

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Jonah 1 vs. 15 (NKJV)
Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.

Are there toxic people in your life, and their very presence keeps you constantly in doubt and fear, always in survival mode. Their thundering disturbs your peace, their lightning bolts shock your heart. Their rocking keeps you dizzy and disorientated, are you enabling someone, constantly rowing your boat fighting the winds and waves, because you think there is no way that person will survive outside of your ship. To save them, have you had to throw off much-needed supplies, When the truth is, if you keep them on the boat, everybody goes down.

Those men were prepared to die because they could not bear the guilt of allowing Jonah to have his belly of the whale experience.

Psychology Today says there are 5 types of guilt, but the one we will address today is the guilt that you didn’t do enough to help someone.

When helping someone, we must be careful that our motivation is not out of guilt but a sincere desire to make a difference. To operate from a position of guilt only serves to deplete us of the necessary energy to be effective in helping.

Guilt is a sneaky little thing, it can hide in our subconscious mind, fooling us into thinking that we are responsible for the behavior of someone else, driving us out farther into the raging storm of their madness, calling into question our own sanity.

It tells us we should be ashamed, that we have done something wrong, that we bear full responsibility.

And if this kind of thinking is left unchecked, it contributes to depression and anxiety.

Are we really helping someone, are we really making a difference, or is their toxic waste killing us?  As soon as the men put Jonah out of the boat, not only did the storm cease for them, but Jonah gained great clarity in the belly of that whale and went on to live a life of purpose.  Something made possible only by those men, who made that difficult and courageous decision.