I heard a great message yesterday morning. I will summarize my take away.
Like many who grow up in a religious context, guilt and shame are part of the package. They are used to motivate, control, prescribe and separate. Even though they come from the desire for right living, they are the wrong motive. We often feel that making someone feel less about themselves will somehow give them a desire to act better.
I learned yesterday that guilt = “I did something bad” and shame = “therefore I AM bad.” And even though shame is often part of religious culture, it has nothing to do with God. Of course I am guilty when I do something I shouldn’t but the unbelievable truth is that God doesn’t think any less of me.
Get a load of this…
"The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him." - Psalm 103:8–13 (NLT)
We have a God that lifts us up when we fail. Our fall is another opportunity for God to show us His unending love. And the experience of His unending love is what makes sin all the less attractive.