being sorry, guilt and shame

There seems to be a lot of new Christians that struggle with the concepts of guilt and shame and proper sorrow. Some teachers and counselors will argue all shame is bad – for example, and others will say we are guilty sinners and we had better admit it and live with it. I am not going to deny that I have a carnal nature (propensity to sin), and even that I am a sinner saved by grace (emphasis on saved by grace). However – there is a big difference between my acknowledging guilt and shame as indicators that I am in the wrong on the one hand, and then repenting of the behavior (and being free from guilt and shame). And those on the other hand who live in the perpetual state of guilt. If you are doing something wrong and suffer from guilt – quit doing it. Repent. Being sorry about the situation once repented of is perfectly normal and healthy even – inspiring us to not do the thing anymore. In a simple sense guilt and shame are blessings from God to warn us of the Hell by degrees we are entering into – “turn around” – go the other way, (repent) would be the wise thing to do. As we deepen our walk a very biblical progression would be;

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,

to quote the psalmist (Psalm 30:11).

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