Category Archives: Guilt

What Are You Carrying In Your Sacks?

There is an old legend about three men and their sacks. Each man had two sacks, one tied in front of his neck and the other tied on his back. When the first man was asked what was in his sacks, he said, “In the sack on my back are all the good things friends and family have done. That way they’re hidden from view. In the front sack are all the bad things that have happened to me. Every now and then I stop, open the front sack, take the things out, examine them, and think about them.” Because he stopped so much to concentrate on all the bad stuff, he really didn’t make much progress in life.
The second man was asked about his sacks. He replied, “In the front sack are all the good things I’ve done. I like to see them, so quite often I take them out to show them off to people. The sack in the back? I keep all my mistakes in there and carry them all the time. Sure they’re heavy. They slow me down, but you know, for some reason I can’t put them down.”
When the third man was asked about his sacks, he answered, “The sack in front is great. There I keep all the positive thoughts I have about people, all the blessings I’ve experienced, all the great things other people have done for me. The weight isn’t a problem. The sack is like sails of a ship. It keeps me going forward.
“The sack on my back is empty. There’s nothing in it. I cut a big hole in its bottom. In there I put all the bad things that I can think about myself or hear about others. They go in one end and out the other, so I’m not carrying around any extra weight at all.”
What are you carrying in your sacks?
H. Norman Wright, The Perfect Catch (Bethany House, 2000)

We Didn’t Do It!

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be assured that if any mischief occurred in their town, their two young sons were in some way involved.
The parents were at their wits’ end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. The mother had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so she asked her husband if he thought they should send the boys to speak with the clergyman. The husband said, “We might as well. We need to do something before I really lose my temper!”
The clergyman agreed to speak with the boys, but asked to see them individually. The 8-year-old went to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly, “Where is God?” The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, “Where is God?” Again the boy made no attempt to answer, so the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, “WHERE IS GOD?”
At that the boy bolted from the room and ran directly home, slamming himself in his closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and said, “What happened?”
The younger brother replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it!”

Ten Pounds

The minister arose to address his congregation. “There is a certain man among us today who is flirting with another man’s wife. Unless he puts ten pounds in the collection box, his name will be read from the pulpit.”

When the collection plate came in, there were 19 ten pound notes, and a five pound note with this note attached: “Other five on payday.”

Quoted and adapted from the SermonFodder email list

Prodigals and Forgivenness

I’ve read the story of the prodigal son, Father, and I realise that, as far as you’re concerned, repentance is a joyful thing. We confess our sins and you throw your arms around us. Big party – great stuff! But, Lord, some of us are diseased with this guilt thing. We’ve grown up with it, we’re weighed down with it, we can’t get rid of it. Far from saying we have no sin, we don’t accept forgiveness when it’s offered to us. We need to come within the orbit of your fondness, Father – to know that the wanting of us is really real. We need to feel clean as well as being clean. Thank you for being so nice. Work a little miracle so we can believe that, as well as saying it. Then we shall have something to say to the ones who don’t connect their sin with you at all. Amen
By Adrian Plass (I don’t know where from as I was given this quote without any reference)