Finding a cure for guilt can be as elusive as finding a cure for a hangover.
And, like a hangover, guilt can make a person feel sick in body, mind, emotions and spirit.
The Rev. Joe Beam of Martinez says guilt is the topic of most of the calls and letters he receives."It is amazing how many people are just burdened by guilt," said the Rev. Beam, who is president and founder of the Family Dynamics Institute, an organization that offers interactive seminars to build healthy families in the United States, Canada and abroad.
The Rev. Beam has written a book about how to get past guilt. Forgiven Forever, his second book from Howard Publishing Co. of West Monroe, La., grew out of 10 years of revivals in this country and abroad.And out of his own personal experience.
The Rev. Beam said bad choices broke up his marriage, sidetracked his ministry and led him to a hospital emergency room. He almost died on a hospital gurney because of alcohol and drugs -- his self-inflicted remedy for guilt."Guilt is very difficult to get rid of," he said.
In his book, he raises questions about all-too-common questions: What can offset the confusion that one has fallen so low, the regret over hurting others or the haunting fear of discovery or punishment? And why does guilt sometimes become an ally to sin, pushing the sinner away from God instead away from the sin, as God intended?Satan will use it to keep a person in bondage. While he can't take away a Christian's salvation after repentance, he can neutralize an individual by taking away the joy. A joyless Christian is fairly useless -- no one would ever ask, "Tell me why you are so miserable. I want to be just like you," the Rev. Beam said in his book.
Forgiven Forever helps readers move past guilt by leading them through Scripture, thought-provoking questions and prayer.
Like his first book, Seeing the Unseen -- now in its eighth printing -- Forgiven Forever is packed with many stories. "Praise God for the gift to tell a story," said the Rev. Beam.The 242-page hardback sells for $15.99.
It can be used for individual or group study.A three-part video with the same name sells for $19.95 and is available through Christian bookstores. Have Mercy, a six-tape cassette set based on the same material, is available for $24.95 through Change Dynamics, P.O. Box 211440, Augusta, GA 30917.