Release and you will be released

Guilt is a sensation among people who have a conscience

There are justified feelings of guilt when a person makes a mistake, is aware of it, and where that person is responsible for and takes responsibility, with the aim of paying the damage caused by the error. This can be material damage, for example by breaking something. And that can be immaterial damage, through defamation, falsely accusing. There are also false guilt feelings, for example because someone manipulates her or his victim (of emotional or physical abuse) in such a way that the victim thinks it is guilty, provoked.

Feelings of guilt because someone has been mistreated as a child and who has started doing so as an adult is rightly so

It is: bearing responsibility for your own share. But being mistreated as a child and feeling guilty about it is unjustified. Such feelings of guilt can reinforce the growing sympathy and / or understanding of the perpetrator, think of the Stockholm syndrome among people who are being held hostage. Healing of this can only occur when there is a conscious distance from the perpetrator, parent or stranger and condemnation of the abuse is pronounced, against the perpetrator, or within one’s own soul.

False guilt can arise from a sense of powerlessness that can cause fear and despondency

There is sometimes the tendency to convert powerlessness is guilt, false, but safe, because it gives an illusion of perpetration and thus of control; also of value, which was first taken away by the perpetrator who abused powerlessness and where respect for mutual well-being is absent.

Survivors of a fatal accident and a war can create a sense of guilt

This often comes from the shame of being alive, as it were at the expense of the deceased and of the false idea that the survivor has given himself more value through which survival could take place. Having guilt and acknowledging and then being forgiven is important and healing, both for the victim and for the guilty perpetrator.

Forgiveness is a legal term

What the Bible lets know that the statement can only take place if the perpetrator is guilty and wants to compensate. Thus it worked with the animal sacrifices and so it works with the sacrifice by the Messiah, as described in the prophets (eg Isaiah 53, Hosea 14:2) and the New Testament (eg 1 John 1:9). But what happens to the person who begs for forgiveness and says that he / she is indeed to blame, but who can not pay and then is not forgiven. The Bible also has an answer to that.

One of the women of the prophets called for assistance. She said: Your servant, my husband, has died. You know yourself that your servant was in awe of the Eternal One. But now the creditor has come to take my two children as slaves away. Elisha asked her: What can I do for you? Tell me what you have in your house. She answered: Your maidservant has nothing else in the house then a jar of oil. Then he said: Go outside, to all your neighbors and ask them for barrels, empty barrels. Let it not be little. Then go in, close the door behind you and your sons and pour the oil into all those vessels. Every barrel that is full must be let go. She left him, shut the door behind her and her sons; these always placed the barrels with her and she always poured. When the vessels were full, she said to her son: Bring me another barrel. But he said to her: There is no more barrel. Then the oil stopped flowing. (II Kings 4:1-6)

This woman is aware of her debt toward her homeowner

And because her husband is deceased who took care of the income, as an employee with Elisha the Prophet, she no longer has any income. She will have begged the landlord to leave her children alone, and she will have said she is aware that she has to pay, and that she knows how big her debt is, but also that she does not have the money. But the man appears adamant. What are you doing then?

What does the person who is dealing with someone who has no compassion?

Someone who can not think along, who is tough? Who does not remit the blame of which the woman is aware? The people in Sodom and Gomorrah at the time were so hard. And the Eternal does not forgive if people do not admit their mistakes. If a real judgment of the Eternal comes then, do not look with mercy, like Lot’s wife.

This woman had access to the heavenly Kingdom

In this widow of a prophet who was employee of the famous Elisha, it went as follows. Elisha says to her, see v. 3-4, “Then he said: Go out and ask the vessels of all your neighbors, empty vessels; do not let it be few. Then go in … ” She is inside, has to go out, and then brings empty barrels that are miraculously filled. The forces of Gd’s kingdom are visible there. She has a house, an inner one, where the kingdom is visible.

And we in 2017, who do not have Elisha to help us?

Make sure your inner self is filling with spiritual treasures, so that the kingdom is visible. Make yourself transparent, correctable, open to confess your own shortcomings. Forgive someone, if that is her, or his, recognizes and acknowledges mistakes. And if you come across someone who can, enjoy it. And if you meet someone who is not transparent, is not aware of what he / she brings to you, is insensitive and blunt and can not forgive, even if you have acknowledged your mistake and understood your guilt, make sure that you have been working for a long time with the furnishing of the Temple in your innermost being.

Such a blunt person who does not see his own mistakes, deserves no prayer, no forgiveness

So it is with the Eternal, when people do not admit their mistakes. And do not be like Lot’s wife who looked back with mercy and pity. You hear people say sometimes that you do not have to get old cows out of the ditch. Sounds suspicious if it is the perpetrator who says it. Also the saying that something has happened years ago and now has to be over, sounds manipulative from the mouth of the perpetrator.

Make sure that empty vessels from your environment are fulfilled by you

Make sure the Eternal has a noticeable influence on your life. That His Kingdom becomes visible. So that you are not left empty-handed when your (spiritual) income is lost. But that the Messiah is close and you are close to Him. How do we practically deal with these feelings of guilt, false and justified? There are quite a few people in your country who suffer from depressive experiences. Guilt and a sense of not matter are directly related to this. Think of the MeToo discussion; and of child pornography and its victims. On the study day, these matters are discussed, because our faith is so practical.

We look forward to seeing you at our next seminar on April 22, organized by Shofar HaMashiach!

Lion Erwteman
study leader and rosh kehilla of Beth Yeshua