So, let me tell you about my neighbors: Guilt and Grace.
Guilt is a difficult person to be around. He is very caring, but he has a habit of taking up much of my time. He’ll go on and on about the little things- he is a bit of a loud mouth. He has a lot of valid points, but he thinks way too much. Some days, I avoid him and hope to never see him again; but, even when I change my phone number, he will find it and start calling again. No matter how hard I try to console him, he always finds something else to worry about. He doesn’t seem to let anything go; he refuses to move to another neighborhood. He’ll file reports with the housing district, because my yard doesn’t look like everyone else’s.
I’ve caught him watching me when I’m trying to sleep- he says it’s just a security measure, to keep me from making a mistake and to keep the wrong people out. He carries a book with him, and sometimes he reads it to me: it has a list of all the things I failed to do this week, even going back to my childhood! He’s like the uncle I never had; he’s always keeping an eye out for me. My friend, Self-Righteousness, often joins us for dinner. Whenever Guilt would bring up a problem with my time-management, Self-Righteousness would start gossiping about my neighbors who do the same thing. Self-Righteousness is a good friend, I’m not sure why no one else likes him. He’s very encouraging and always finds a way to reassure me that I am as good as I think I am.
Sometimes, Guilt comes to my house to give me an intervention. He’s been watching all of my movements lately, it’s getting a bit creepy. The other day, I was about to leave to run an errand when Guilt stopped me. He wanted to remind me not to forget the to-do list he gave me- it was very important. He said it meant a lot to him. It was to help make up for the things in his book; he promised to erase them if I did exactly what he said. He said it would take a burden off of him if I got to it immediately. He can be controlling, but I know he wants what’s best for me. The problem is that the list keeps getting bigger, and I’m running out of time to do these things. Guilt is going to be very upset if I don’t make it up to him somehow.
Grace is very sweet; she’s like a sister to me. I haven’t seen her much lately. When I come over to her house, I usually see her Father: He adopted me when I was younger, and raised me the way a father should. No matter what I’ve done, He always accepts me with open arms. He disciplines like any father, but He never condemns me or regrets adopting me. He feeds me, clothes me, and shows me where to go. Grace always sends me gifts and tells me not to pay her back- without Grace, I wouldn’t know Father or His Son, Jesus. They sent Holy Spirit with me. One of the things He does is make sure Guilt stays away. Apparently, Guilt is also friends with Law, and they have been working together to make sure I stay away from the Father.
Whenever Guilt bothers me, I go to Father’s house. He tells me to stay away from Guilt, and confront Him; He told me that His Son, Jesus, went to Guilt on my behalf. He settled all of my debts, but I don’t know how He could have done that, because I still mess up. Guilt keeps finding new things to pin on me. Father says that I am forgetting Grace’s gifts, one of which includes something called The Gospel. I remember the story; it was written down awhile ago. It turns out that Jesus fulfilled everything on Guilt’s list, and told Guilt to treat His list as mine. Apparently, Jesus’ list had nothing on it. So, Guilt shouldn’t be coming to my house at all.
Grace has also sent me a recipe for Sanctification-Cake- the instructions are to stir faith, hope, and love in a bowl until I see Holiness begin to bubble. Grace’s food is much tastier than Guilt’s, “creations.” Holy Spirit also gave me a book to read called Scripture. He wrote it with lots of men who experienced Guilt but went to Father and with His help defeated him.
Some met Jesus and talked about Him in the most amazing ways, all of the stories are true! The men who wrote the Scriptures still met Guilt every now and then, but the Father forgave them because of Jesus and pointed them to the hope they have in Him. Jesus also talked about Paradise- the new housing development we’ll move into someday with Father. Guilt, Sin, Death, Satan and every other cranky person won’t be there.
Grace says that there is nothing I can do to take away Guilt; Guilt is very forgetful about the Gospel. He has Hellzheimers, and that’s why I need to confront him: So that he’ll remember his book of wrongs means nothing. She says that although I should acknowledge Guilt, he shouldn’t be my friend any longer. She says that Repentance is a relative of Guilt’s, but he knows the Father- Holy Spirit and Jesus tell me to become close friends with Repentance. He won’t lead me astray, and keeps me in close company with the message of the Gospel.
She gave me a necklace and said to put it on; written on it is the story of what happened when Jesus settled my debts with Guilt. She says that although Guilt may tell me to do things that are right, he will never be satisfied with anything that I do. She says that Father loves me and has talked to Law; Law has agreed not to report a record of wrongs to Guilt, but to help show me the will of Father. Oh, and Self-Righteousness? It turns out he isn’t such a good friend after all; he was stealing my supply of Humility that Grace gave me.
Guilt hasn’t shown up much anymore- when he does, I remind him about Jesus, and he walks away. Repentance is close by, and reminds me to keep fighting the good fight and to always love Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Soon the fight will be over and we will be in Paradise.