It's Okay to be Happy

He's about two feet
from the ground. ;-)
It's amazing how the guilt thing happens. There's survivors guilt.  There's "I'm sick and can't take care of my family" guilt. There's "I should have done something to stop that jerk from hurting my loved one" guilt. There's, guilt over eating a cheeseburger when you didn't have time to fix something healthier. There's guilt over wealth or lack thereof - especially in this economy. There's guilt for being angry with a loved one who died. There's guilt over being depressed or not being able to overcome PTSD. There's guilt over celebrating your birthday or anniversary on 9/11.

There is all kinds of guilt we bear and there are times when we should feel guilty. But. We need listen to God, his Word, and let him show us when its true guilt and we need to repent, or when its false guilt and we need to step out of the box. Sin makes this a difficult thing to deal with, doesn't it? 

I found myself laughing and smiling and just generally enjoying myself at church last night. The fellowship and teaching was so encouraging. What would I do without my church? They're a gift from God! 

It's been such a tough year. A tough several years, actually, and I have to admit guilt nipped at me (not for the first time) for feeling happy. The realization of this jolted me and God took that moment to whisper to my heart.

"It's okay to be happy."

I wanted to cry tears of joy, but I smiled instead. Yes. It really is okay to be happy. In fact, God delights in my smiles and laughter. So I wouldn't forget, I wrote it down - It's okay to be happy.

Have you ever felt guilty for feeling a certain way? For doing or not doing something you see in hindsight that you could have or should have done? 

What kind of guilt box have you locked yourself in? 

*Warning: This isn't to confuse happiness and sadness with depression. Depression is a separate creature. You can be depressed and still experience feelings of sadness and happiness apart from the depression. Maybe this doesn't make sense to you. Unless you've experienced depression or unless you have an understanding of what it is, you probably won't get it. But trust me. There's a difference.

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