Day 13: Guilt


Luke 15: 20-24

20So he set off and went to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him. 21Then the son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.” 22But the father said to his slaves, “Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” And they began to celebrate.

And lo, the prodigal theologian returns. Where did the time go?

I have grand ideas a lot. Sometimes, I don’t live up to them. The problem is, I also think I should, and then I don’t, and then I get mad at myself.


I’m very much a prodigal, in many ways. The story is one where we see a boy pretending he’s a man, taking his inheritance, wasting it, and then coming home with his head hung low, begging forgiveness. But in the twist nobody expects, forgiveness is given, and not only that, his return is celebrated.

I have, for the past month or so, been dealing some health problems. My health has become a big issue for me, and sometimes, my meds don’t allow me to do the things that I need to do, or that I want to do. It’s been difficult, especially for a guy who is kind of a perfectionist when it comes to these kinds of things. I have big dreams. I can’t live up to them all the time.

But, I can still try.

My problem is that I beat myself up for not living up to the impossibly high standards I’ve set for myself. I haven’t quite factored in my limitations just yet…after 25 years, I’ve got a lot to learn. But the thing is, I have to not feel so guilty or shameful for what I can or can’t do, and just live with it, do the best I can, and move on.

I may not get to blog every single day this season of Lent. I just won’t. But I will try. And I will do what I can.

This is my fast. I’m trying to give of my time and my energy to blog, and in essence, give the time to God. It’s a learning process. I know, though, that God is big enough and loving enough to welcome me with open arms, even when my big ideas fall flat on their faces.

God loves, and forgives.

About grantimusmax

Grant Barnes, aka Grantimus Maximus, aka The Nerdcore Theologian. Currently, he is a PhD Candidate at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley, California. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology with a Masters Degree in Divinity. He graduated from Texas State University Cum Laude with a Bachelor's degree in English, minor in History. He watches way too many movies, reads too many books, listens to too much music, and plays too many video games to ever join the mundane reality people claim is the "Real World." He rejects your reality, and replaces it with a vision of what could be, a better one, shaped by his love for God.
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2 Responses to Day 13: Guilt

  1. zanspence says:

    Father, in the name of Jesus, we lift up Grant to You and pray a hedge of protection around him. We thank you, Father, that You are a wall of fire round about Grant and that you set Your angels round him. We thank You, Father,that Grant dwells in the secret place of the Most High and abides under the shadow of the Almighty. We say of You, Lord, You are his refuge and fortress, in You will he trust. You cover Grant with Your feathers, and under Your wings shall he trust. Grant shall not be afraid of the terror by night or the arrow that flies by day. Only with his eyes will Grant behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because Grant has made, You Lord, his refuge and fortress, no evil shall befall him – no accident will overtake him – neither shall any plague or calamity come near him. For you give Your angels charge over Grant, to keep him in all Your ways. Father, because You have set Your love upon Grant, therefore will You deliver him. Grant shall call upon You, and You will answer him. You will be with him in trouble and will satisfy Grant with long life and show him Your salvation. Not a hair of his head shall perish. Amen.

    Be strengthened today!

  2. guayja1 says:

    I hear you Grantimus. I’ve struggled with the same false-guilt. It took me a lot of work to overcome it, and I still struggle, but I followed the trail to its source and had to tackle some big issues. In the end it worked like this: I felt false guilt because I couldn’t meet my own expectations -> I had unrealistic expectations because I was trying to EARN love from God (partially a learned trait I’m afraid), -> despite understanding and accepting the concept of grace through faith alone, I felt the need to earn God’s love because I did not love MYSELF. It was a matter of accepting who God made me and being at peace with that person. God Speed on your Journey.

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