An Important Truth to Know When You Feel Ashamed
Have you ever said or done something that made you feel so ashamed you felt sick inside?
Maybe you were a child, a teen, a young adult . . . or maybe it was more recent than that.
Our sinful failures can cause mental and physical suffering.
My guilt overwhelms me—Psalm 38:4, 6, 8
it is a burden too heavy to bear.
I am bent over and racked with pain.
All day long I walk around filled with grief.
I am exhausted and completely crushed.
My groans come from an anguished heart.
The enemy of our souls loves it when you and I feel ashamed . . . when we withdraw from God and people because we’re overwhelmed by guilt.
We’re afraid our friends will find out that the perfect image we’re constantly trying to present is all just an illusion. We’re afraid they will judge us and gossip about us. And we may ever be afraid of God’s anger…
O Lord, don’t rebuke me in Your angerPsalm 38:1
or discipline me in Your rage!
Yes, the enemy loves it.
God gave us a conscience, a way to know that we have disobeyed His will and feel ashamed. But not because He wants us to wallow in fear and disgrace. Our Heavenly Father wants us to feel regret and repent. The Bible calls it conviction.
When [the Holy Spirit] comes, He will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.John 16:8
When the Spirit convicts us of our sin, God’s righteousness, and the coming judgment . . . He also reminds us of God’s grace, mercy, and love.
The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 6:23
God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)Ephesians 2:4–5
The Lord doesn’t want us to withdraw in shame. He wants us to come to Him in faith with repentance humbly asking for His grace and mercy.
David loved the Lord. He knew that God hates sin and he knew he had sinned. So, when he was overwhelmed by guilt and shame, he turned to the righteous Judge of all the earth trusting that He is loving and forgiving.
David confessed and repented…
I confess my sins;Psalm 38:18
I am deeply sorry for what I have done.
And God forgave David.
He forgives you and me, too.
He may not remove the earthly consequences of our sins but when we go to Him in repentance through faith in Jesus . . . we can be assured that He forgives us and removes our sin’s eternal consequences.
If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.1 John 1:9
God is love. He is gracious and merciful.
So when we feel ashamed, may we allow the Holy Spirit to turn it into the conviction we need to…
Come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. [Where] we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. (Hebrews 4:16)
And when we receive God’s mercy, and grace, we can joyfully live free of guilt confident that we are forgiven and free. It’s the Good News! Because we trust Jesus when we humbly go to God in repentance our sin is erased. We don’t have to feel ashamed anymore.
A Prayer for Repentance When You Feel Ashamed
Father, I’m so ashamed. I have failed to follow Your will and through my words and actions, I have not honored Your holy name. I have failed to put You first in my life and I have failed to love others the way You have commanded.
I want to present this perfect image to people. I don’t want them to know how often I fall short of Your will. But they know. They see.
And You know. You see. You examine my heart and know everything about me. (Psalm 139:1) And yet, You love me.
You love me so much that Your Word tells me You don’t want me to wallow in guilt and shame, You want me to come to You in faith and repentance. You want me to trust that You are loving, gracious, and merciful. You want me to offer myself to You in faith.
Father, I am so very sorry. I come to You asking for Your forgiveness. Not because of any worthiness in me but because of Jesus. Your Word says that there is one message—the necessity of repenting from sin and turning to God, and of having faith in our Lord Jesus. (Acts 20:21)
I believe that Jesus is my Lord and Savior and I give myself to You. Please strengthen me through the power of Your Spirit and give me all I need each day to trust and obey Your will. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
When the enemy of Your soul wants to taunt you with accusations and tempt you to hide because you feel ashamed, run to the Lord in faith with humility. Trust His grace, mercy, and love, and ask Him to forgive you.
Then live free of shame knowing that you have been forgiven. You have a future filled with the hope of heaven through the Savior, Jesus. It’s Holy Week. And by God’s grace, because of Jesus’ loving sacrifice, you and I can live forgiven and free forever.
May God bless you and fill you with the joy of His peace and presence today and every day.
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This is such a good post. Guilt is something I struggle with a lot. I am told that I blame me for everything!! Thank the Lord that he doesn’t see it that way. Knowing that we are loved beyond measure by the Lord is everything. Prayers for a beautiful Easter for you and your family, Deb. God bless you.
Amen Sue! I too, lay blame on myself about so many things. And loved what you said, “Thank the Lord, He doesn’t see it that way.” Sweet Easter Blessings to You and all those you love, my friend and sister in Christ.
Thank you Kathy! I pray that you and your family will have a good Easter and Holy week as well. God loves you and so do your “sisters in faith”!
That’s funny, Sue. My daughter’s friends say they’re just going to blame me when they do something wrong because I willingly bear guilt that isn’t mine to bear. LOL By God’s grace, I’m more quickly giving it to Him so I can live each day with His peace and joy. God bless!
Such a great post! Seems I am always feeling a bit of guilt or shame about something daily. Even something like my neighbor’s dog constantly barking, making me to think “not so nice things about that dog!” But my neighbor is so sweet and dear and I feel guilty and ashamed that I don’t like her dog!
But even the little guilts, God will forgive when we repent to Him. Praise Him for all His understanding and compassion and grace. Bless you Deb, for always sharing such useful and needed messages for our lives and our hearts! Praying always for you and your wonderful ministry…
I too have struggled with guilt for much of my life. It helps us a bit to know you are human and that a constantly barking dog annoys you, too. I love your tender heart toward your neighbor. And yes, praise God, He promises to forgive all our sins when we take them to Him in repentance. We are so very blessed. Thanks for making me smile, dear friend!
What a great post! It really hit home for me since I live with guilt daily. I try to be free of sin but I always fall in the pitfall time at time of judging. That is why I am trying to become closer to God so that he can help me from sinning. I know he hears me when I pray to him and ask him to forgive me and help me to be like him. I trust he will continue to lead me in his path so long as I cling on to him daily.
He is loving, forgiving, and will give me the grace to coup with my sinning and will always have mercy for my sins so long as I trust in him.
Have a wonderful blessed day🙏
What a beautiful statement of faith, Ana. I am so thankful for the Lord’s willingness to forgive and draw us close. May He surround you with the constant assurance of His grace, mercy, and love. Blessings!