by Barbara Latta
Why would anyone want to know evil?
For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:5 NKJV)
But the temptation to know everything sucked Adam and Eve into the trap.
They became acquainted with evil.
God brought the skins of a slain animal to cover the guilt. The couple was forgiven.
But the shame continued Their minds probably ran away with the accusations that came from the mouth of their tempter. “You are bad.” “Look at what you did.” “The human race is doomed because of you.”
This is what the devil does. He tempts and then when we give in, he accuses and condemns us.
Even since the Garden humans have dealt with guilt and shame.
Guilt is tied to what we do. Guilt says, “I did bad.”
Shame is tied to who we perceive we are. Shame says, “I am bad.”
God gave us a conscience so we would know right from wrong. But once we repent, He doesn’t want us to live in guilt and shame.
Guilt pricks us due to a wrong behavior. Our conscience tells us something is wrong, and we need to repent.
But after we receive forgiveness shame can remain if we don’t live in our righteous identity in Christ.
Shame can lock onto the mind and condemn us for the behavior that has been forgiven. Shame can cause addictions because the person is seeking to medicate the pain of past sins.
The Lord gives us 3 keys that unlock the prison of guilt and shame.
1. Realize we have been forgiven. We admit we are guilty sinners, but because of the blood of Jesus, we don’t stay that way. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
2. Dwell in the presence of Christ to stay focused on the redemption we have been given. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine neither can you, unless you abide in Me (John 15:4 NKJV).
3. Renew our minds to agree with who God says we are. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
Our identity is not tied to our behavior. A born-again person’s identity is tied to Jesus. Despite our sinful actions, we are a new creation in Christ in our spirit (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our soul (mind and emotions) must remain focused on the Word to cleanse us from wrong beliefs.
We are not shame. We are righteous.
Living in a sense of shame is not the same thing as being referred to as shameless.
“Have you no shame?” is directed toward those who continually commit evil acts.
What they really are is conscience-less. God gave us a conscience to direct us from right and wrong. Even a person who is not born again has a sense of good and evil unless they continue to ignore the nudge and their heart becomes hardened. The conscience no longer directs. Speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2).
Jesus left the Holy Spirit on the earth when he ascended to heaven. He is called the Comforter for a reason. He comforts, He does not condemn. He shows us the way, He does not shame us.
A victorious life depends on knowing who we are in Christ. There is no room for shame or guilt because it has been dealt with at the cross. Our place is to receive that truth and become free. If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).
Only the truth that is known sets us free.
Join the conversation and share your thoughts.
3 Keys That Unlock the Prison of Guilt and Shame (click to tweet)
God gave us a conscience so we would know right from wrong. But once the wrongful deeds are acknowledged, He doesn’t want us to remain in guilt. (click to tweet)
Beautiful reminders that God's love brings grace, forgiveness, and freedom.ReplyDelete
I am so thankful for His love and forgiveness. Thanks for sharing, Nancy. Blessings!Delete
Thank you for breaking down guilt and shame for us. I like how you stress that God does not want us to live in guilt and shame after we repent. A great reason to let it go!ReplyDelete
Yes, Candyce, if we could only agree with what God says about us we could avoid so much pain. Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings!Delete
Barbara, I am so happy to have found your blogspot! You never told me about it! Found it quite by accident! Thank you for the beautiful words in Jesus Christ you write! Blessings! 🙏ReplyDelete
Thank you. I'm not sure why your name doesn't post, but I appreciate your reading and commenting. Blessings!Delete
What a beautiful message of God's love and the assurance of His forgiveness. Many of us carry around the guilt of past mistakes and it robs our life of joy. Your post gives hope to the hurting. Thank you, Barbara.ReplyDelete
Katherine, I think forgiving ourselves is sometimes harder than forgiving others. We tend to beat ourselves up for what God has already washed away. Thank you for sharing. Blessings!Delete
One of the best posts I think you've ever written Ms. Barb; and you've written a great many fantastic ones ma'am. Surely enjoyed your wisdom and encouragement here ma'am. Understanding how shame can live with us long after the guilt has been removed is an important part of learning to give ourselves grace.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your kind words, J.D. I have enjoyed much wisdom from your posts as well. Those cows of yours can sure teach us a lot. We do need to learn to give ourselves the grace that Christ has extended to us. Blessings!Delete
Very good analysis, Barbara. I especially like how you differentiate between shameless and conscience-less. And the verses you chose are spot-on. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Annie, for your insights and for stopping by. Blessings!Delete
I had to learn to forgive myself. I could accept Gods forgiveness but not my own. Until I realized I was denying everything Jesus had done for me through my unforgiveness. Beautiful post.ReplyDelete
Jennifer, I had to learn to forgive myself also. You are right, when we withhold forgiveness from ourselves, we deny what Christ did for us. Thank for sharing. Blessings!Delete
Barbara, I appreciate the truths you shared, especially this: “A victorious life depends on knowing who we are in Christ. There is no room for shame or guilt because it has been dealt with at the cross.” Amen!ReplyDelete
Our battle is in focusing on the identity Christ gave us. I think that's why we are attacked with this truth more than any other. Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings!Delete
I love the keys to overcome these feelings of shame and guilt. I pray lots of people learn the truth in Christ. Thanks for sharing BarbaraReplyDelete
Yvonne, I also pray for eyes to be opened. When we accept the truth that God forgives and accepts us, we are set free. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!Delete