Shame vs Guilt?

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

Shame is a self-judgement

Guilt is a consideration that a better option was missed

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil all of a sudden they knew a lot about right and wrong. But they had demoted God in their hearts by agreeing with the serpent, and they had decided God wasn’t good because he withheld knowledge from them. This belief led them to judge themselves wise and strong enough to handle the forbidden fruit. As soon as they took a bite they could only consult themselves to answer the question, “Is it wrong that I am nude?”

They decided God had shamed them. They covered their “shame” and hid from God.

Adam and Eve judged themselves shameful. God said to them, after pulling them out of hiding, “Who told you were naked?” This question implied that it was not God who judged them embarrassing, crass, or “uncovered.”

And shame began.

Shame is a lie that we have no one to run to because we’ve judged ourselves. It’s a lie that we are the highest, smartest, most right being, and capable of judging. So then, what do we do when we condemn ourselves?

Guilt is different. It leads a person running into the arms of the one who can help. Guilt happens with honest mistakes, but originates from a humble heart that has a good God in a seat of the smartest, most able, strongest being out there. Guilt is a safe feeling that hopes in a good solution if we can gain some insight. Then, we know we can do better. Guilt acknowledges an offense while being prepared to receive correction, apologize, and try again.

God intended to be available to teach us about everything. His voice is still speaking, “I love. I love you. I love you.” Shame has no place in the Kingdom of Heaven because so matter the amount of mistakes when the heart is restored to God guilt sends the person running into his arms with an immediate confession and a cry for help, leaning on him because he can fix it.

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