Editor’s Note: Guilt or Shame, Faith or Feeling

Editor’s Note: Guilt or Shame, Faith or Feeling

I’m guessing you know, as I do, the horrible feeling of guilt when you know you’ve done wrong. You’ve wrestled with it, prayed about it, asked God to forgive you, yet still feel terrible inside: wishing you had never done, said, or acted so wretchedly. You still feel defiled, sinful, and wonder why you feel so bad and dirty still if you’ve truly been forgiven.

I was recently introduced to a children’s book called, Sanctuary Light, by Nicole Parker. While I’m always looking for good books for my granddaughters, this children’s book simplified this issue and helped me grasp what is happening when I still feel guilty even though I’ve made things right with God to the best of my knowledge and ability.

“When sin is a wall between your heart and the heart of God, feeling bad is a good thing. It is called guilt,” Nicole writes. “It is a cry from Yahweh’s heart straight to yours, saying, ‘sin is standing between us. It is seperating your heart from Mine. Let it go so I can cover it…then we can be close again.'” Guilt convicts you that you are dirty, but it gives you hope of becoming clean again.

If we have repented, surrendered to Jesus, yet still feel awful and dirty, she says, “What you are feeling now is not guilt. It feels similar to guilt, but it is shame. And this shame is not a message from Yahweh…it is a message from the accuser.” (satan) Shame, like guilt, also makes us feel like we are dirty, but leaves us desperately hopeless. Shame is a lie from the enemy that there is no forgiveness, no hope for us.

So when we have claimed God’s sacrifice to cover our sin, “we must believe in the promise of forgiveness, no matter how we feel,” Nicole continues. Our feelings will tempt us to doubt we are forgiven, but we have asked in faith and we must trust God’s promise of forgiveness instead of trusting our feelings. “If we have faith in God’s promises, we trust what He says instead of what we feel — and eventually our feelings may follow.”

During this Easter season, no matter how satan tempts us to feel, let’s rejoice together in the resurrection hope that is so certain by holding firmly in faith in God’s sure promises!

Juanita Edge, Communication Director


Romans 8:37-39 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.