If you have been struggling with guilt and shame, don’t worry- you are not alone. Every Christian will face feelings of guilt, shame, or grief over their sin at some point (often several times) throughout their walk with Christ. No one is immune, including me! This is because even after we’re born again, we will inevitably slip up and sin. We are still flesh, and sanctification won’t be complete until we get our glorified bodies in Heaven. Thus, the Christian life is one of a constant battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Christ told us we must deny our flesh every single day to follow Him (Luke 9:23), and it isn’t always easy!
Sometimes feeling guilt, shame, or grief is for our own good. And even though these feelings are not pleasant, it should lead you to repentance. That is what God wants, and that is the kind of “godly sorrow” the apostle Paul wrote about in 2 Corinthians:
- “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10
Paul said that godly sorrow will result in repentance. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow, because when we repent, we are sanctified and we will grow stronger spiritually. If we have what Paul called “worldly sorrow” which lacks repentance, it will bring spiritual death upon us. This is because God doesn’t want us to stay feeling guilty and ashamed of sin He has already forgiven, and He certainly doesn’t want us to be enslaved to sin. If we live in constant guilt and shame over sin we’ve repented of or if we don’t repent from sin, it will block us from walking in the freedom that Christ died to give us. Jesus died on the cross to set us free from sin and death!
Friend, if you have been struggling with feeling guilty and ashamed over your sin, let these verses encourage you and strengthen your heart.
21 Bible Verses For Guilt and Shame
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
1 John 2:1
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.”
“Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always chide, nor will He keep His anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does He remove our transgressions from us.”
““Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
“being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.”
1 Peter 5:6-7
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.”
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”
“For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and My covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.”
“As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Abide in My love.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
“Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
“Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of His inheritance? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.”
“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.”
My sister, cast all of your burdens, anxieties, guilt and shame on the Lord. No sin is bigger and stronger than His grace, mercy, and love for you. Sometimes when we feel guilty and ashamed of our sin, it makes us want to run away from God because we get scared He’s angry with us. But because Christ died for us, we can come boldly to His throne. When we confess our sins, He is so faithful to cleanse us and renew us. Don’t let your sin, guilt, or shame pull you away from Him. Instead, let it push you closer to Him and His love. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you (James 4:8). Never forget how much He loves you, sweet sister. Our flesh may fail, but our God never will. Be free!
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“Praise the Lord, o my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits— who forgives all your sins, and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on His children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts. The Lord has established His throne in heaven, and His kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His word. Praise the Lord, all His heavenly hosts, you His servants who do His will. Praise the Lord, all His works everywhere in His dominion. Praise the Lord, o my soul.” – Psalm 103:1-22