Find the Beautiful Side of Guilt

How many of us really see the beautiful side of guilt? Dr. Frank Minirth of the Minirth-Meier Clinics has gone so far as to associate guilt with the work of an artist. If handled properly, the influence of this powerful emotion is capable of putting the finishing touches of the artist’s brush on our lives.

Envision the Artist at Work

An engraver uses tiny amounts of acid, applied in carefully measured doses, to clean and make perfect the designs. Rough edges are smoothed, and the fine lines are more clearly defined. The work of art becomes even more beautiful because of the acid. 

In a similar way, God uses small amounts of guilt in our lives to cleanse us of our flaws and help us rid ourselves of our imperfections. The guilt serves as a warning signal, which alerts us that we are doing things we shouldn’t be doing and that our lives are moving in directions that aren’t good for us. . . . Guilt, like acid, when used in small doses is a powerful but positive force that can make a godly work of art—a human being—even more beautiful than it was. Guilt can shape and even strengthen us. We suffer from it, but we’re better off because of it. (Paul Hemfelt, Frank Minirth, and Paul Meier, We are Driven, p 268-269

I once visited the Sistine Chapel and witnessed an amazing work in progress. Many artists were gently refurbishing the paintings of Michelangelo. The walls were a mixture of contrasts. On some walls were the dulled images of work done centuries before. But on the walls where the restorers were at work, a beauty shone forth so complex my attention was drawn to every detail of the old masterpiece. This is what God wants to do for us.

Be Transformed by the Beautiful Side of Guilt

Like the old masterpiece, we, too, can come forth in beauty. The canvas of our life is not yet finished. If we are attentive to those feelings of guilt and wisely let them touch up our character, we will bring forth the beauty God has placed within. But if we become consumed with our feelings of guilt and shame, and fear the Masters’s touch, we will keep the canvas from being completed. The beauty gets buried. The choice is ours.

Excerpt taken from Blended Families: Creating Harmony As You Build A New Home Life, Maxine Marsolini, Moody Press, p. 182-183. To get a copy go to This book can help strengthen relationships for any family;not just stepfamilies.