this weekend as we were moving in, i told someone that i feel a little guilty about our new house.

“oh, that’s good!” she said.


she explained that she hoped it was the delicious kind of guilty that comes with getting and enjoying something that is just so good…. like a bar of expensive dark chocolate enjoyed slowly and after the kids are in bed.

and it is sort of that kind of guilty. but also it’s a bit of the other kind… the not so good kind.

i have a long-standing problem with believing that God really wants to give me good gifts. before i got married, before i had my children, and before i get almost any other sort of amazing dream-come-true kind of thing from Him, i get petrified with fear that He’ll be displeased with me if I take it, or I feel guilt for having something good when i’m so aware of others who have much less or have worse situations.

i don’t really think Papa appreciates me thinking and feeling those ways, but it’s something i tend toward. consistently. i keep thinking i’ll learn, that i’ll outgrow it.

but here, now, with this house. this amazing dream of a house (no, it wouldn’t be anyone’s dream come true… my mom wouldn’t want it)…. again it crops up. guilt.

“you shouldn’t have this house.”

“if you have extra rooms, you need to fill them with someone ASAP. preferably a poor person or an orphan.”

“you’re idolizing this house and you care about it more than your children.”

“don’t show photos of it because people will judge you for having a house like this when you’re an urban minister. ministers aren’t supposed to have nice houses.”

and so on and so forth.

well, Guilt. i don’t like you hanging around.

Papa, I want to know YOUR heart and YOUR will for giving us this house to call our home. come into this place of false guilt and bring a combination of your joyful grace and your merciful conviction.


3 thoughts on “guilty

  1. So happy for you and I hope you post pictures of how you make your new home, home!!!!! Also, just read this recently and I think the last part holds a good reminder for us about our God’s generosity: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17)
    Side note, I have been hoping & praying lately for GOOD food for my family, regretting that things like good eggs are a bit out of our budget right now, and the day after AJ and I prayed for those things, a friend texts offering us some farm fresh eggs. I was delightedly grateful! I heard a dad say it this way one time: it’s okay for him to spoil his kids, but it’s not okay for them to act spoiled.
    This was really long.

    • rachel, i appreciate your thoughts a great deal. particularly the reminder on 1 Tim 6:17. and that story about the eggs made me grin. so many times i have experienced something very very similar to that. He is a very kind and attentive Father.

  2. Working in the type of work I have (and you) I can totally agree; it is very hard NOT to feel guilty. Its can be very hard to feel good to have things. I bought a Iphone this past week which I did feel guilty for…but I work hard…I have my own apartment; then I should have neighbors over every single weekend…and offer my futon for a place to stay. The truth is…I think…that God wants us to be ok with being comfortable sometimes.

    (Matthew 11:28-30) “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. {29} “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

    (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, {4} who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

    In my eyes, you are still in a “spiritual war-front” (on the westside) Maybe this house is a way of giving you rest in admists of the battle. We all need that.

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