How Can I Overcome Guilt and Shame as a Christian?

So much goes through your mind when you feel guilty. You might feel ashamed or want to hide from the world. It can be overwhelming. Sometimes you might wish you could disappear. Everyone is different, and we all handle shame differently.

As a Christian, you have God and the Word leading you into a life free of guilt and shame. So how can you overcome these negative feelings when they arise?

Accept Your Guilt

Just like grief, handling guilt happens in phases. You must first accept that you feel guilty before being able to go through it. If you feel guilty or ashamed for doing something negative against your faith, or if you have wronged someone in your circle, you have to acknowledge it.

Be Still and Remember God Is with You

“I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.”

Psalm 25:2

Such a reassuring verse! Even if we have sinned, we can trust in the Lord. We can believe that, just as He has taken us out of negative situations in the past, we can trust Him to walk us through our journey out of shame and guilt.

Sometimes, you just need to be still and remember that in everything you do, good or bad, the Lord is watching over you.

Meditation—and Probably Fasting

No matter what’s going on in your life, you must take some time to connect with the Word and with the Father. Spend some time on your own to meditate on the Word, read through the Bible, listen to a spiritual podcast, or stream a video of your favorite Christian speaker. 

The Bible says:

“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”

Psalm 34:5

If the guilt and shame are still weighing you down, do some fasting to help deepen your meditation. No one likes fasting! But it can yield strong spiritual results. You can choose to do a dry fast (where you can still drink liquids) or a wet fast (where you don’t eat or drink), whichever works for you. 

Fasting helps you to connect with the word and with your inner self. It allows you to reflect on your life and listen to the voice of God. Remember, your health comes first, so you may want to talk to a doctor to know what is safe for you.

Pray during this time so you can get some much-needed clarity on how to move forward.

Talk It Out

As you work through shame and guilt, it helps if you can talk it out with someone. You can confide in a close family member or friend who can talk you through the emotions you are feeling. If you need some expert spiritual guidance, talk to your pastor or spiritual teacher to get some much-needed counseling.

If you have wronged someone, and if it’s an option, you can try to reconcile with them and ask for forgiveness. You may not get that forgiveness instantly, but it will work wonders for you as you deal with feelings of guilt.

No matter what you go through in life, always remember Paul’s encouragement in his letter to the Romans:

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

Romans 5:9-10 

 The Good News

Jesus did it! That’s the good news! Christ died on the Cross for our sins. This means that not only can you experience eternal life, but also forgiveness from sins. Your guilt was already paid for by Jesus. May you move positively in life knowing this amazing fact.

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