What Does The Bible Say Concerning Shame And Guilt?

Many times in our lives, we experience shame and guilt. We feel shame for being who we are. We feel guilt for committing an offense or a crime. However, we should not allow shame and guilt to consume us. 

In the Bible, shame and guilt first inflicted Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They realized they were naked, so they hid themselves from each other and from God (See Genesis 3:1-10). They were ashamed of being naked and guilty for disobeying God. 

Just like Adam and Eve, we also experience shame and guilt for our wrongdoings. Sometimes, we say, “I will never forgive myself”. When we do this, we offend God the most. In John 3:16-17, it says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved”. God loves us so much. He does not want us to become prisoners of our own sins. He does not want us to hide in shame and in guilt.

What Does the Bible Say Concerning Shame and Guilt?
What Does the Bible Say Concerning Shame and Guilt?

Feeling of shame and guilt is natural. It is our instinct to feel this way when we did something wrong or ridiculous, but letting shame and guilt rule us is another thing. Hence, we need to know and understand what the Bible tells us concerning shame and guilt.

Live Not in Shame

Shame has become a common thing in this modern world due to social media. It has been a trend for us to post our photos on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to gain likes. Sometimes, when we see the photos of others which have more likes than ours, we feel ashamed of ourselves because we think that they are more beautiful or handsome than us. 

We should not be ashamed for who we are. (Genesis 1: 27) says, “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female He created them”. If we are ashamed of our looks, skin color, height, or body, then, it means that we are also ashamed of God since He created us in His own image. Therefore, we should not be ashamed of our physical appearance because we are all created in God’s image.

So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female He created them
What Does the Bible Say Concerning Shame and Guilt?

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God”. There is no more reason for us to live in shame. Jesus Christ has already freed us from shame by bearing our own shame on the cross.

What Does the Bible Say Concerning Shame and Guilt?
What Does the Bible Say Concerning Shame and Guilt?

Be Free from Guilt

We are not perfect. We commit mistakes. We sin against others and against God, and we feel guilty about it. However, it is not good for us to linger in guilt. We have to get out of it, so we can live in peace. 

“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then, I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions of the Lord’ and you forgave the guilt of my sin” (Psalm 32:3-5). If we did something wrong, we have to confess it to God. God is always there to listen and He will forgive us, so we can be free from guilt.

Our God is an ever-forgiving God, but we should not abuse it. When God forgave us for cheating, it does not mean that we can cheat again. When we accept God’s forgiveness, it means we are also committed to following His ways and turning away from evil. 1 Peter 3:11 says, “They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it”.

God has already forgiven us even before we know it. All we have to do is to accept God’s forgiveness and be committed to following His ways. 

By accepting Jesus Christ in our lives, we will not live in shame anymore. Romans 10:11 says, “. . . Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed”.  By committing to following the ways of the Lord, we can be free from guilt. Deuteronomy 5:33 says, “Ye shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess”.

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