Response is Necessary

I encourage any response that you may have. PLEASE comment. Tell me if you agree, disagree, don't understand, whatever. Just let me know what you think.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Guilt vs. Shame

Many people couple guilt and shame together as though they were synonymous. I would argue that they are not and that there is a key difference between the two. Guilt is that nagging sometimes painful feeling that you get when you know that you’ve done something wrong. This can be, but is not always is a tool of the Holy Spirit convicting us of wrong doing in an effort to prevent us from doing it again. When used in this way it is good and beneficial for the believer. Shame on the other hand is a tool of the devil. He uses it in a way as to deceive the believer. He tells us that we are a bad person. This focuses on the person’s identity and who the person is rather then what they did. We need to always be carful to separate the action from the person. This is true when dealing with other people as well as with ourselves. God does not condemn you (Romans 8:1), but the devil will take every chance he can get to trip you up (1 Peter 5:8).


Peter P said...

Too right.

I think some people might argue that God never tries to make you feel guilty... but that's not an argument I want to get into. The fact is that overpowering guilt and shame with condemnation come from the devil. Correction and the understanding that you have done something wrong, with love not condemnation, come from God.

Gret post John, I'm enjoying your blog!

Andy C said...

We cannot let shame keep us from the Lord, He knows us too well to think we could ever hide anything from Him. What a shame (no pun intended) that people let their guilt and shame do just that.

Great post, and a great start to your career in the blogosphere!

Sharon G said...

Wow, you have joined the world of blogging, for better or worse :)

As for comments. You have FAR more bible knowledge than I do. Trying to put my comments down would only bring out (in me) how much I really can not have an educated discussion.

So from time to time, I promise to comment. It may not have anything to do with your topic. Write ON my friend. Your thoughts are always intriguing.

Boaly said...

Definately a great post! Thanks John!

Henry Neufeld said...

Some people make the distinction between "conviction" and "guilt", though I think guilt results from conviction, and your distinction between shame and guilt gets to the point.

Perhaps the question would be whether what you are feeling is driving you to change (repentance) or discouragement. If toward change--it's God. If towards discouragement--the other guy.

Sherri Watt said...

Great post. I read you interview off of Peters blog. Great to meet you.

I will be following to read what you write next.


Anonymous said...

"in an effort to prevent us from doing it again"

I would add that the conviction also points us to confess, that we can be forgiven and cleansed, a la 1 John 1:9.

Acknowledging our sins before God seems to be largely missing these days.

Anonymous said...

I just came across a related verse:

For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
(2 Corinthians 7:10)

John said...

Awsome, I love it.