Guilt, Shame, Gospel
Sin and Shame
How often do you publicly post your failures and disappointments on Facebook? Do you usually make public the sins you committed or make known your sinful heart? How about the sins of your youth, how often do you share those?
Instead, we hide our sin and our shame. This is the natural response to sin: we hide it. We have shame and guilt and so we cover it with fig leaves that really aren’t a covering. Remember the Garden of Eden in Genesis 3? Adam and Eve sinned and their response?
Genesis 3:7-8, ESV, “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”
David described it in Psalm 51:3, “my sin is ever before me.” All hidden sin and guilt glares at us despite our attempts to hide from it.
Jesus doesn’t just offer a covering, He is our covering. Christ covers all our guilt and shame and presents us without spot or blemish before the Father (Colossians 1:22).
In Christ, God gives to us the title of His Son: sons of the Father. All that Christ is, He is for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Jesus was exposed to our shame by bearing our guilt. He suffered and died publicly and shamefully for our sins before a holy God. On the cross, Jesus bore the blame of our sin that we might bear His name before the Father.
Hebrews 8:12, ESV, “I will remember their sins no more.” Though your sins are ever before you, in Christ the Lord remembers them no more — He removes them as far as the east is from the west!
Real, biblical shame comes from real sin. All that God holds against us was nailed to a tree and paid in full by Jesus (Colossians 2:13-14).
Live the Christian life in freedom from sin and guilt by the work of your Righteous One (1 John 2:1).
However, be aware of unbiblical standards of guilt and shame that we heap upon ourselves.
Real guilt is only in what the Bible gives us. Therefore, feelings of guilt for how our children are, how much money we make/don’t make, disappointments in life, etc., must be evaluated in the light of Scripture.
We are prone to blame ourselves and heap on our hearts responsibility that the Scriptures do not give you responsibility for.
For example, whether it be our kids, our jobs/income, or church outcomes. We are responsible for what God commands us to do in faithfulness and obedience to Him. We plant and water, but God gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).
C.S. Lewis, “It is not your business to succeed, but to do right: when you have done so, the rest lies with God.”