Have you ever felt the pull of someone wanting you to do something you can’t or don’t want to do? Have you ever expressed in frustration, “They’re trying to give me a guilt trip!”
Here is today’s news flash. No one can give us a “guilt trip.” It’s true we may feel guilty for any number of reasons, but the source of our feeling comes from within us.
In order to understand the other side of “the guilt trip,” let’s look a little closer at what is really going on.
If someone expresses a need to us, they are speaking from a real place of need in their life. They may express that need as a “want,” and if we don’t look closer, we may not see the “need.”
They may be so depleted that they are looking to anyone to help fill their need. They are turning to us because they believe we can help.
When they express their need again, it means they are still in need. We may find ourselves feeling very frustrated because what we did was not enough. We wonder if anything we do will ever be enough.
Hard as it is to consider, our feelings have more to do with our sense of failure or powerlessness than any guilt the other person is trying to throw our way.
What can we do?
Jesus provided The Answer. We think of Jesus as always being The Helper. But there was a time when He was in need. He had a situation His Disciples could not fix. He was about to be tortured and crucified.
He had diligently prayed. He had a strong bond with His Father. But He still needed His Disciples to help Him. When they did not respond as He had asked them, He confronted them.
In today’s world, we might have said He tried to give them a “guilt trip.” Did He? No!
He was pointing The Way to what they needed to do to summon All The Power of Heaven and Earth, both for Him and for themselves. He knew they were later going to experience real guilt and He wanted to strengthen them ahead of time.
What did He say to do?
First He said, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
Then He said, “Stay here and keep watch with Me.”
When He found His Disciples sleeping, He said,
“Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour? … watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
Someone expressing a need is our call to prayer. It is a call to us to step up and freely admit we do not have the answers to everyone’s problems.
However, we can be present with them, both in person and through prayer for them. And we can watch for what The Lord will reveal to us.
Take a few moments and think of someone you might have thought wanted to “guilt trip” you.
Thank God He is with them and you right now. Thank Him that He is willing and able to meet all needs. Be confident He will. Be at peace.