"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Sunday, March 29, 2015


"If there is any purpose to guilt, it is to highlight the power and exhilaration of freedom from it." --Alan Cohen, Enough Already

Cohen contends that Adam never woke up from the deep sleep that fell on him when God created woman (Genesis 2:21), and that the deep sleep, metaphorically, is our illusion of separateness, loss, fear, shame, and death.  He points out that young children have no concept of guilt and that they are taught guilt.  He says, "The journey to freedom does not require you to become anything you are not.  It simply invites you to throw off illusions of limitation and return to the Garden of Eden you enjoyed before you learned to be afraid."

Because I have a granddaughter not quite a year old this has hit home to me.  Just yesterday while talking to her over the speaker phone I told her to "be a good girl."  Now, why did I do that?  It's because that's what I was told growing up by all the adults in my life.  I knew that if I wasn't I'd get spanked, or have some privilege withheld.  So I learned guilt, especially if I got away with something.  This led me to think about how does one discipline a child?  How do you keep them out of trouble and from hurting themselves?  Is it possible to not teach a child this sense of guilt based on fear?

First, I have to get it right in my own life.  I've confessed and received forgiveness for my missing the mark (the definition of "sin") due to my own willfulness.  God does not hold against us what we do not know--only what we know to be wrong and still do.  Because God is a just God someone had to pay for man's sin--Jesus Christ's death on the cross.  All we need do is acknowledge that we have gone astray and allow ourselves to be brought back into the fold, or as Cohen would put it, wake up from the dream of the illusion of separation from God which leads to fear and guilt.  Christ's resurrection is a picture of our waking up to receive the power and exhilaration of freedom from guilt.  As long as we look to the Holy Spirit within us for guidance our missteps will be fewer and fewer......and there is instant forgiveness available when we do misstep--there is no room for guilt to squeeze in between us and God to put us back into our deep sleep of illusion.

As for my granddaughter, I'm committed to watching what I say to her.  When she touches something she shouldn't, rather than reprimand her with a "no" and a disapproving tone, I will instead take her little hands away and say, "Here, let's play with this instead.  This will be so much more fun!"  As she gets old enough to understand I'll explain why she shouldn't do this or that.  Of course, she may turn out to be just as willful as most of us are, but with patience and love, I hope my explanations will assure her that there is a better way to be that will lead to a happiness far greater than what she'd intended to do.  And if it's after the deed has been done, I can use that as a teaching opportunity (definition of "discipline") to show her why her choice was not a good one.  

Father, thank you for your Wisdom in how to help my granddaughter keep her innocence.  When she is old enough I'll tell her about You so that she can keep that look of innocence in her eyes and in her heart.

Link to scripture:  Hebrews 10:22

Take action:  Guilt-Free Discipline

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