Guilt and Shame

As humans we aren’t perfect. If that’s a revelation, we might need to have a different conversation. Since you’re still reading, we must be on the same page. Goodness isn’t a natural trait; we have a lot to learn, and sometimes we blow it. Usually we can ask forgiveness and, conscience clean, walk away with a desire to do better next time. But sometimes we limp along, appearing fine on the outside, but inside we’re harboring shame.

Shame in itself isn’t a bad thing, without it we wouldn’t understand our sin. Just as nerves send pain to keep us from causing injury to the body, shame is there to prevent damage to our souls. It’s what makes us care. But too often we drown in it. Guilt swamps us and instead of hating the sin, we hate the sinner – us. Feelings of inadequacy quickly follow, making us feel undeserving of God’s gifts and afraid to get close to Him. He holds out mercy, but we refuse to take it, afraid it’s not meant for us.

God doesn’t hate us because we messed up – even if it’s bad. And He doesn’t want us to either. The Bible is full of mess ups at least as bad as any of ours. Abraham and Sarah lied about being married and nearly caused a kingdom to crumble. Isaac did the same thing. Jacob cheated his brother out of a birthright – at his mother’s request.  And of course David had a man killed to hide his sin of adultery. Peter denied Jesus, Paul tried to wipe out His disciples, and the list continues.

Did God turn his back on them? No. They sincerely repented, and He continued to bless them. The truth is, we mess up. Everyone does. We can use our unworthiness to keep God at a distance, or we can accept that we blew it, ask forgiveness and move on, closer to Him than ever.

About cewaterman

I love God, my family, and writing--in that order. I live in Colorado, and I like to play golf, hike (not 14'ers, that's my husband's passion), and generally enjoy the beautiful scenery that God created. I have two beautiful daughters, three wonderful grandchildren, and a husband who has loved me well for over thirty years. I am truly blessed. I love encouraging people on the journey to becoming what God created them to be, including myself!
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