My heart goes out to anyone living in relationship with someone who is carrying a load of guilt and shame. It is a heavy load that weighs people down. Sometimes it is loaded on because of the sin against us by someone else and we carry the offense. Other times it comes from our own sinful condition or our perception of the situation we’re in. There can be many reasons for it.
For people in this struggle, self-protection can grow into an obsession. It takes precedence over everything, and relationships suffer greatly.
If you live with, or interact closely with someone living with guilt and shame you can understand how difficult it is to interact with them. Normal questions and conversations are virtually impossible. A defensive posture is the norm — the inability to express to them a complete thought without interruption, accusation, anger, or disrespect is commonplace.
Understand that the conflict the guilty soul feels is great because the person wanting to help them is usually someone who offers love to them and has already demonstrated much care for them; therefore they are conflicted between a sense of duty to respond rightly versus self-protection. This brings confusion in because one day things can go seemingly well and the next very badly. It’s understandable why many give up in attempting loving confrontation. It is often because of our own failure to consistently love or the abusive responses becoming to painful to bear, or both.
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