A Guilt Cycle: Time with God Daily

Like most people I regularly get a fire under my ass about spending time with God and being a ‘good Christian.’ So I commit to getting up and spending time with God each morning to start my day right. Unfortunately I often find that all the energy I put into this process leaves me defeated and sometimes even works against me.

When I get up on the first morning to spend time with God it goes very well. I manage to spring out of bed quickly feed the dog and then jump up to the office and open my Bible. What I find happens is that I gradually allow distraction into my time. Since I really like to take notes about what I am learning I turn on my computer, yes I am a computer geek, to take my notes. The first few days I do very well with not checking email or the latest news or reading my favorite blogs. Gradually though I let those things push back my devotional time. Of course if I just check one email then I can do my devotions after. Then the next day I read a blog entry too. Eventually I have to jump in the shower now or I will be late for work. Then I realize that I have failed in my mission to be a ‘better Christian’ so I give up discouraged that I can’t even do an easy thing like read my Bible and devote the start of my day to Christ.

The really hard part of the whole thing is the cycle of guilt that Satan uses, and of course I let him. When I fail I no longer feel as if I am worthy to talk to God so I don’t. It is the guilt shame cycle that we get into with any failing or sin. Really I know that I am no less worthy today than yesterday, but deep inside me it feels as if I am unworthy. So now I am in a cycle of guilt, which I allow, that keeps me from spending time with God. Some time later I decide that I will be a ‘better Christian’ and spend time with God each day. So the cycle continues.

How do each of you do your devotions? Does anyone else feel the same cycle in their lives? What do you do to get out of the guilt portion and move on to spending time with God? Do you have any things you do to keep yourself spending time with God? Please share your success and inspire some of us that are still struggling.

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~ by curtismchale on September 27, 2007.

12 Responses to “A Guilt Cycle: Time with God Daily”

  1. My devotional life has changed throughout my Christian walk. At times it is more regular and scheduled. At other times it is more haphazard. Right now I am trying to develop more consistency and discipline in my devotions. I use the morning time to pray and medidate on the Word.

    I decided a few years ago not to let the guilt get me down. I just confess to God that I have been weak and lazy and believe that He understands and forgives. One thing that I have done is made prayer a part of the natural flow of my daily life. I pray for the people around me and for God’s guidance as I go throughtout my routine.

    I do have to rid myself of distractions. I pray as I drive places alone and as I am going to sleep at night, which I need to do right now. I’m in a class right now studying Spiritual Formation, and there’s some accountability within the group. That helps a lot.

  2. Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on my blog! It is such a powerful thing to know that others experience the same thing over and over. I could’ve have written your post myself, it’s almost uncanny. Thank you a thousand times!

    God bless

  3. I try to make time in the morning and get up an hour earlier to talk to God . In that hour I just say Hi to Him, thank Him and praise Him. I also use that time to pray for everybody else – especially those that I know that are in a crisis situation. On my way to work or driving alone, I pray – asking about things and bringing thanks. I found that praying in tongues during this time helps a lot because then I don’t flavour my prayers with my sub=conscience. Yes, I also have lazy mornings and the devil will try to make me feel guilty, but I confess that to Jesus and tell Him I am lazy and sleepy. Its OK, He does not want our talking to Him to become a burden, but a joy!

  4. I go through seasons of getting it in and seasons of not. I so wish I had grown up a Christian and had scripture committed to memory for such times when I am feeling far from God! I know He is near~it is I that have drifted. and it’s weird, because it doesn’t necessarily change my faith (meaning beliefs) or that I’m a believer, but it does leave me more ill-equipped for the day-to-day. Sometimes I think it is a discipline, and then I also have met people (other SAHM’s) that neglect their family to get in their quiet time, and I think that is wrong!

    A CALL TO PRAYER was a really great quick and easy read, btw! (((((HUGS))))) sandi

  5. Hi Curtis, Time to get off the Guilt Cycle : )

    I think alamost all of us at some time or another experince something similar to what you relate. Usually with New Year’s resolutions: This year I resolve to be a better me by… which lasts a week or two before we slip into our old ways again.

    We all get ‘tempted’ in many different ways and sometimes we just get bored doing the same thing day in day our – our minds crave New and exciting stimulations, not repetitive eactions.

    Feeling Guilty about it is of little practical use IMHO.

    Finding ways to overcome – now that is a different story! : )

    Recognise ( s you have done) that your mind will want to do something new and exciting and find ways to make those things about God rather than yourself (or celebrities, food, friends or other common ‘distractions’). Don’t do the same devotion each morning – God doesn’t send you the same weather each day so why be devoted exactly the same way every day??

    Make your devotions something that you would not rather be doing than ANYTHING else and you won’t become distracted by emails or whatever because you will be doing what you MOST want to do.! It will require a little extra thought and planning but with practice you should soon be needing to find a way to STOP your devotions or cut down the time rather than feeling guilty for being distracted from them. Good Luck!

  6. […] remember you may not succeed the first time. Do not get into a cycle of guilt and shame. That is counter productive and will continue to lead you to […]

  7. I struggle with this in almost the same exact process…right down to the comp, but only because I have a bible program on there i like to use..

  8. Yeah I took the software off mine so I wasn’t tempted.

  9. I finally let myself off the hook. It was always something I felt I “ought” to do daily and I agree it’s an awesome habit. But I’m just not that disciplined. I work in spurts. Sometimes my days are saturated with scripture and other days He drops a verse in my mind as I go along. Maybe I’m too free – it’s quite possible.

  10. First of all i have to give you props for consistantly going at it with trying to make time for God each morning. I know how tough it can be and I’m the same way when it comes to distractions. Satan is very good at throwing every possible distraction at me, so what I do is every night before I go to bed I look at a hall light or something that reminds me of him and pray. Wether it’s thanking him for a good day or giving my concerns to him, it prepares me for the next day and gives me a good nights sleep knowing that he’ll take care of everything and that things are in his hands now. Also at night i’m far less distracted with time constraints.

  11. I have the same guilt feelings and when I get them I try and remember that it is satan using them against me. I just will not let it happen God loves all of us and we have to remember that if we swear or kick the dog or yell at someone we are not going to hell and we did not fail the Lord. the more we try the closer we get to God he does not leave us ever. Just answering you got me away from the Tv just now and talking about the lord. Don
    t give up.

  12. Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas is an excellent resource. God bless!

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