Guilt vs. Shame: Never Feel Badly About Who You Are

In my Old Testament Law and History class this week we watched a sermon clip based around the following quote: “Guilt is feeling badly about what you have done. Shame is feeling badly about who you are.” It is important as believers that we allow ourselves to feel guilt, but never shame.

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Throughout the Bible, God created both unilateral and bilateral covenants with His people (i.e. Adam, Abraham, the Israelites). Although they continued, time and time again, to destroy the covenant and let Him down, He never once broke His promises to them. The continued failure of keeping covenants throughout history not only proves humanity’s need for a savior, but also shows the immense love, grace and forgiveness God has for His people. We are all imperfect people, in need of a savior named Jesus Christ.

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But, we can trust that no matter how many mistakes we’ve made, no matter how much guilt we may feel,

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simply because He loves us.

While it is crucial that we feel guilt over the sins we have committed, and ask for repentance, we should never allow our past mistakes to reflect our own self-worth. We are never so far gone that Christ’s love and forgiveness cannot restore and redeem us. We should never feel shameful about who we are because we are CHILDREN OF GOD! We are perfectly made in HIS IMAGE, exactly as He intended us to be (see Genesis 1:27 and Psalm 139). Our own self-worth, self-confidence, and self-image is found in what God says about us! Everything He has created, including us, is called good. To put ourselves down and feel shameful about our own identities—to believe Satan’s lies—is to discredit God and His handiwork. Our abilities to love and forgive ourselves reflects God’s own love, grace, and mercy toward us. 

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He loves us so much—more than we could ever love ourselves. Never feel shameful for being who God has created you to be. We are each uniquely, perfectly, and wonderfully made—loved immensely by the Creator of the universe.

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Maria Murray is currently an undergraduate college student majoring in psychology and minoring in dance and biblical studies. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog, anything to do with music, dance, or theatre, reading a good book, and writing/journaling. She plans to become a licensed counselor/therapist with her psychology degree, and she desires to be a lifelong learner and a disciple of Christ, shining His light in the world.

1 Response

Jone Schlangen
Jone Schlangen

February 18, 2020

Very insightful! And another reason I’m glad my daughter Emma looks up to you as a role model.

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