Guilt and Shame
Do you struggle with either of these? I know I do. I appreciated the thoughts from Matt Chandler in Recovering Redemption on these real life issues all of us face. I encourage you to read the quotes and then pick up the book at your local Christian bookstore.
While both of them (guilt, shame) do indicate the falling short of some kind of standard, the one that guilt fails to meet is more often a clear moral code, a legality. The standard that shame fails to meet on the other hand, goes much deeper to the core of who we really are. Our identity.
Guilt is more about what we do; shame is more about who we are. It's important to see this distinction.
Guilt (robbing us of innocence) and shame (robbing us of honor) are the double helix that creates the DNA of our worst behavior.
Shame is deeply rooted in identity. And the "self-ideal" we create for ourselves can often incorporate a lot of expectations that simply aren't included in God's ideal for us.
Guilt and shame continue to spark our anger, fuel our abuse, feed our lust.
The cancelling of your debt by the forgiving blood of the Lamb means the guilt from all your sin is gone--past, present, and future--as well as all your reasons for allowing guilt to crank itself up into angry fits and other defensive measures. You've been pardoned. You're free. You've been given innocence.
Nothing drives away shame any faster than the thought of being fully known and yet still loved, enjoyed, and delighted in by the one who knows you the best. . . And if He's not ashamed of us, then whey should we be?
The gospel gives it all. Justification for our guilt. Sanctification for deconstructing our false ideals. Adoption for the red face of our secret shame.