Patricia Hofer

Guilt and Christianity

GUILT IS LIKE THE FOOTPRINT OF A HIPPOPOTAMUS. We have the Nigerians to thank for this clear image. Our selfish actions do, indeed, leave a deep footprint of regret and shame. But where does such guilt come from?
The animals with their evolutionary ways don’t carry the weight of their actions the way we do. So our guilt must spring from our humanity—from the spirit of God that breathes in us. His presence in our soul makes it possible for us to step back and evaluate what we’ve done and why we did it. This added perspective is one of the things that makes us human, something more than our natural life here on earth.
Feeling guilty is a good thing, then, when we recognize it for what it is—something that draws us back to God. (Turning Aside to See 57)

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