Let’s talk about guilt and shame today. Those 2 words are probably some of the ugly words we never want to have in our heart and mouths. Guilt is so messy, shame is such a burden and they weigh heavily on us, especially Christians. Guilt and shame degrade us and make us feel unworthy of the love we as Christians know so well and have felt many times, God’s love.
I remember when I would sin ( oh I still sin), it didn’t matter how big or small, I would take matters into my own hands and punish myself. I punished myself by not laughing, not smiling, sometimes not eating or eating very little, not touching my bible and praying. I would stay moody, keep to myself and just stay in my room and not talk to anyone. This would go on for days. At that time, I didn’t know what I was doing was punishing myself, I thought God wanted me to suffer and feel bad for my mistakes or sins. I thought that God wanted me to feel ashamed and guilty, and until I had cried myself to sleep several nights and distant myself from Him, He wouldn’t know how sorry I felt and how guilty I felt and how ashamed I felt. After a few days, I would feel okay, although distant from God, I felt okay because at least, I had done my time.
Do you see how crazy that sound? To think that I have to do “time?” But I’m certain I’m not the only who has ever felt that way.
We’ve all had an encounter with guilt and shame because in this world we have the unfortunate task of dealing with the enemy whose main mission is to separate us from God. He does it so well that sometimes we do not see what is happening or convince ourselves that it is God who is distancing Himself from us. However, that isn’t the case.
God does not want us to feel guilty or ashamed when we sin, He simply wants us to repent from them and repentance doesn’t mean mourning about your sin. It means going to God and confessing and really just trying to be a better human being.
I also wanted to add, we really need to be kind to ourselves, we need to forgive ourselves and show mercy to ourselves. We (us Christians) know that we serve a gracious and merciful God and that’s how He wants us to be with each other but often, we forget to treat ourselves that way.
That said, shame and guilt have no room in your life. May we learn how to dismiss them.