Dealing with Guilt and Shame
Written by Christi Given | October 20, 2016
Many times we can feel the sting of sin with the residue of shame, guilt and/or conviction. Remember there is a difference between conviction and condemnation, and we need to embrace forgiveness once we repent and turn from a particular sin and move forward. If we remain in guilt and condemnation and beat ourselves up, we will stay in a lowly place. God wants you to experience freedom and fullness in Him. God wants you to run to Him when you feel broken, not away from Him.
Condemnation: Condemnation can be defined as “the action of condemning someone to a punishment; sentencing.” When we are condemned, it is regarding punishment and we are only condemned when we reject the Lord. No one is righteous; only Christ was. He took our place, therefore we are released from punishment because of the sacrifice made on the cross more than 2,000 years ago. (Read John Chapter 3 in the King James Bible.)
Conviction: The Holy Spirit convicts us to show us where we need to repent. It reveals to us when we are in darkness and need to come back into the light. The Bible says (Romans 8:1) that there is no condemnation when we are in Christ (abiding in Christ; see John 15:5). From the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry, “conviction” is defined as “the work of the Holy Spirit where a person is able to see himself as God sees him: guilty, defiled and totally unable to save himself.”
Here are some Bible verses about sin, shame, condemnation, forgiveness and repentance:
- Romans 8:1 says: “…there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
- Isaiah 64:6 says: “…our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
- John 3:17 says: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
- Isaiah 1:18 says: “‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'”
- Psalm 34:22 says: “The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.”
- John 3:18 says: “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
- Mark 16:16 says: “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
- Psalm 103:12 says: “As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
- Ephesians 2:8-9 says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
- John 8:11 says: “She said, ‘No one, Lord.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.'”
When you begin to hear the lies of the enemy that you are no good, that you are used or washed up, or can’t be used by God, read these verses to remind you of the redemption we have through Jesus Christ. There is no one who is too good or too bad for God to use them. God actually chose the most broken of people, and according to the Pharisees (the religious people of the day), they even criticized when Jesus hung out with the prostitutes and tax collectors. You are worthy because Jesus died for you.
There is a difference between willful disobedience and falling down in our human nature but getting back up and turning from habitual sin. Run to Jesus when you need help or freedom from bondage, He is the ONLY one who can truly set you free. Remember, in His perfect love, there is no fear. Ask God to help you and to give you peace, and make sure to read the Word of God to protect your heart and mind.
PI Girls, how do you handle life when you feel condemned or ashamed?