Getting Started

Have each group member answer 2 of the 3 questions:

  • What is something you are looking forward to right now?
  • Who is someone loving you well right now?
  • What are you intentionally getting better at?

For the leader: You likely won’t have time to answer all of the questions below. Please pick and choose, and as the group is evolving pay attention to where there is energy. God may steer your group in a totally different direction and that is ok! The hope is that these conversations teach us more about God and our response to Him!

When it comes to guilt, many of us naturally lean in one of two ways: we wallow in it by reliving the past, or we deny it by making excuses. In either instance, guilt is causing us to be out of balance. The apostle Paul reminds us that, because of Jesus, guilt is not the boss of us.

Start Talking

  • How was last week? Did you handle your emotions differently based on our conversation? Did you become aware of any new emotions in you?
  • When you think of “guilt,” what words or images come to mind?

What About You?

  • What has been your experience with authority figures in your life in relation to guilt? Perhaps it is a parent, teacher or boss. Have they made you feel guilty or free from guilt?
  • Who is someone who has helped you live free from guilt?
  • In general, do you lean more toward wallowing in guilt or denying it? Why is this?
  • How do you think guilt may be expressing itself in your current relationships?   Dating | Marriage | Parenting | Friendships
  • How can your own personal guilt lead to you having anger and judgment toward others?

Look It Up

Read Romans 8:1–4

  • What stands out to you?
  • If you could summarize what Paul is trying to communicate, how would you say it in one sentence?
  • Talk about the tension this statement creates in you: guilty, but not condemned.

*A few other verses to know in regards to guilt: John 3:17, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Ephesians 1:7, 1 John 1:9, Hebrews 8:12, 2 Corinthians 5:17

What Now?

  • Why is it important that we understand the difference between being guilty, but not condemned? What might your life look like if you lived in this way? 
  • Who in your life do you need to view as guilty, but not condemned? If you were able to do that, how might it change things for you?
  • When you attempt to make things right with others, not only does it remind you that you are not condemned, but it may unlock a vault of bitterness that someone else has been holding. Regarding your past, is somebody waiting for you to make the first move?

Moving Forward

Things to remember:

Guilt, you are not the boss of me. Because we are guilty, but not condemned:

  • We forfeit the right to condemn ourselves, because we are not ours to condemn.
  • Our guilt can remind us of something, but not define us.
  • We forfeit the right to condemn others.
  • We are free to make restitution without expectations and excuses.

Additional Resources

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown (Book)
Living Beyond Your Feelings: Controlling Your Feelings So They Don’t Control You by Joyce Meyer (Book)
Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley (Book)
Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruits of the Spirit by Beth Moore (Bible Study Book)