Addressing the issues of “guilt, shame and condemnation” needs to be done with compassion and sensitivity. All three need to be covered with an adequate explanation of the differences between the three.
Introduction: Oftentimes when we focus on areas of sin and failure, feelings of guilt and shame can begin to stir up inside of us. Satan, the accuser never misses an opportunity to move in with his condemning voice. Before we go any further then, we are going to take time to address the issues of guilt, shame and condemnation. The Lord does not want us feeling unworthy to come to Him because of guilt and shame from our past. He’s here today to cleanse us and free us.
The difference between guilt and condemnation… and shame:
It is important to bring an understanding of the distinction between each of these three elements, and how they impact our lives.
- Guilt… is how we feel about the things we have done that were wrong. Guilt is a normal, honest response of our conscience. Guilt by itself is not a bad thing. It is better to feel guilty when we have done wrong than to have no conscience and no sense of right and wrong.
- Condemnation…however, is the accusing voice of the enemy telling us how bad we have been and how unworthy we are. It is very different from conviction. Although conviction, which comes from God, is accompanied by a sense of wrong, it always invites us to forgiveness and reconciliation. On the other hand, condemnation, which comes from Satan, is intended to make us feel unworthy of God’s forgiving love and grace.
- Shame…is how we feel about ourselves… or how we see ourselves because of the wrongs we have done… or …because of things that have happened to us, such as sexual abuse or violation. Shame clouds our countenance and makes us want to hang our head and hide ourselves…from God and from people.
For most of us, guilt and shame were reinforced from early childhood:
“Shame on you… you were naughty and bad”
“You should be ashamed of yourself”
Satan seeks to take advantage of our sensitivity to guilt and shame.
He beats on us continually with the lying voices of condemnation
- He wants us to feel and believe we are evil… and unworthy.
- If we have been abused or violated, he wants to make us feel dirty and damaged.
- He wants to make us feel we need to hide from God (like Adam and Eve hid among the trees because of their guilt and shame.)
- He wants us to feel that we need to hide from people as well… “If they knew what kind of person I really am…”
When guilt and shame and the weight of condemnation take hold of us, everything we hear and everything that happens to us gets filtered through a “grid of unworthiness”. It affects how we see things and our ability to function in every facet of our lives. God does not want us living under this cloud of condemnation. Romans 8:1 says: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
God has given us His redeeming grace to free us and to cleanse us from every trace of the guilt and shame of our past. We don’t have to carry it anymore. Let’s come and receive the release and freedom He’s offering today. Amen? Let me lead you in this prayer:
“Father God…I repent of agreeing with the lying voice of the accuser and believing the lies that I am an evil person, that I am dirty, and that I am unworthy to come and receive your love. I repent of trying to hide myself from you and from people. I repent of not believing that the blood of Jesus has cleansed me from all of the sin, all of the guilt, and all of the shame of my past, all of the things that I have done and all the things that have happened to me. Holy God, I repent for not believing your promise of forgiveness and your love for me. And now I renounce condemnation and I renounce guilt and shame from sins of the past as works of the enemy designed to rob me of the joy of my relationship with my God and with other people. I renounce these tactics of the enemy and what they have done to keep me from becoming the person God created me to be. I renounce all the lies of condemnation and of guilt and shame. I choose to receive my cleansing and my full release from all of the guilt and all of the condemnation and all of the shame of my past.
I break all agreements I have made with the lying voice of guilt, shame and condemnation. I break all soul ties and generational ties that would bind me in any way to past guilt, shame and condemnation. I break every vow and covenant every contract and agreement that would give these spirits any power in my life.
Lord, I receive your full forgiveness and I come now to receive your cleansing touch from all the guilt and shame of my past, everything that I have done and everything that has happened to me in Jesus Name”