Reader Response: Kyokai no Kanata and the Role of Guilt

In this week’s Kyokai no Kanata, we only saw a few glimpses of our main male character, Akihito Kanbara.  He was absent in the lives of the other characters as well as in the show, skipping school, likely because he was unable to concentrate after losing control the previous night and almost killing a number of people, including some he holds dear.

akihito x mirai
Art by ととぱ (Pixiv ID 39426861)

Super demonic powers aside, I can certainly understand what it feels like after losing control.  I’m an impatient man, and all too often I snap at my family members, who rarely, if ever, deserve it.  And almost immediately, I feel guilty about my actions.

Guilt is a powerful thing – as with shame, it can lead to positive change as well as to pain and self-destruction.  It’s also often associated with religion.  While Christians should feel a sense of guilt after they sin, I hope that these feelings don’t act as a driving force in our lives.  Instead, I hope that guilt is a reminder of grace – the penalty we were once under and the freedom we now have.

I want to hear your thoughts about guilt and how it intermixes both with religion and with your personal life.

What are your thoughts about the role guilt plays in the life of a believer, or more personally, in your own life?  Is your life plagued by guilt?  Has guilt driven you to do certain actions, bad or good?  Has guilt had a very negative impact in your life?  Have you overcome feelings of guilt?


7 thoughts on “Reader Response: Kyokai no Kanata and the Role of Guilt

  1. I’ve always thought that there were two kinds of guilt: worldly and spiritual, which might be symbolized by Judas Iscariot and St. Peter respectively. The worldly kind of guilt, not of the Holy Spirit, paralyzes the soul and makes a person unable to move forward. Spiritual guilt motivates a person to repent and change for the better. I suppose that they might be discerned by whether the person leans toward life or death.

    The problem with me in particular is that guilt or shame often makes me consider giving up. I need to summon powerful reserves to hold on and then change for the better.

    But, I would not worry too much about snapping at one’s family members. As Aristotle observes, hot tempered people are very easy to deal with because their anger passes over quickly.

    1. I like that idea of two different kinds of guilt. Certainly, the grieving of the Holy Spirit should be set apart, and it’s result should be for our betterment. And thanks for the encouraging words as well. 🙂

  2. What makes the guilt bitter for Akihito is that it’s from his nature. I think guilt is similar, at least with me. I feel guilt because I still struggle with the old sin nature and the legacy of who I am. I know we all become new creations, but all the psychological barriers that each of us have to following the Gospel aren’t easy to give to God and let him tear down, or know when it’s our own action that’s needed.

    It’s funny, because people probably assume I’m a holy roller because I often defend Christianity stridently on the net, but I think if anything you defend it because you know you are guilty, rather than you think you are sinless.

    Akihito really has it rough, though. For most of us, our sins are our own private shame and guilt that rarely go beyond God or our family; for him, his nature is like an atom bomb. It’s shaping up to be one awesome series.

    1. I like this point you bring up about sin and guilt after we receive a new heart. Certainly, the more we grow our relationship with Christ, the more sensitive we are to sin, both within and without. I now understand better when Paul claims to be the worst of sinners, having understood the idea more in mind when I was younger, but now more fully in my heart as I’m older.

      I do hope the series pushes the idea of Akihito’s loneliness more as it progresses – I find that idea more interesting than Mirai’s sense of isolation.

  3. I think it depends on the source; are we being accused or convicted? I’m not a theologian by any means, but I’ve always looked at it like this: the devil accuses, the Holy Spirit convicts. If our guilt and/or shame arises from the accusatory whispers of the Evil One, then it’s best dispensed with, and quickly. If our guilt and/or shame arises from the firm conviction of the Spirit, then we must respond in faith. Just my two cents.

    1. Thanks for sharing. If anything, your point should encourage us to be diligent in examining ourselves and our actions and thoughts, so that we consider exactly what we did that causes us guilt, why we feel the guilt, and how we should act.

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