Father Chuck Files: Accepting Blame and Feeling Guilt

It has been a while since I wrote anything about Coal, my German Wire Pointer. Coal at times shows no remorse for her actions. Still likes unfiltered cigarette butts and likes to jump up on the kitchen counters, no matter the consequence.

But I do know when she is guilty of eating one of Donna’s socks. She telegraphs with her whole body the error of her ways. Her eyes squint and dart back and forth. Her ears flatten out, head lowered, she slinks into my presence expecting a pat on the head.

Then she gives me a half-hearted tail wag and attempts to lick my hand. Immediately, I search for the socks in hopes she hasn’t quaffed down the sock.

When I discover the offense which occurred last week for the sixth or seventh time, I give her the look and say, “Shame on you!” Guilt seems to seep into her and she slinks under the nook.

Do you slink away when you are caught doing what you know you shouldn’t have done? Are you repentant or do you lay blame elsewhere, shirk responsibility, and ignore the act?

As I watch the news or observe people, it seems that there is no longer any sense of shame or guilt or even embarrassment. When I called someone recently on an inappropriate act towards another, they lashed out at me as if I were to blame.

Ultimately, we need to accept the blame, feel the shame and admit that we have done wrong. Every morning as a part of my prayer discipline, I confess the things that I have done and the things that I have left undone the last day.

Some days the list is long, much to my dismay. Feeling a sense of shame forces me to fall on my knees and ask God for forgiveness and prompts me to attempt to do better. It empowers me to feel the power of God’s love and to offer it to others. When I fail to feel the shame, feel the pain of guilt, and fail to suffer the spiritual pain of my mistakes, I lose a great deal. I don’t live up to what God intends for me to be.

And you, do you feel the shame for your misdeeds?

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