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Guilt and Shame

There are two kinds of guilt. True guilt and false guilt. True guilt occurs when you have disobeyed a law, an authoritative figure or God. False guilt occurs when someone tells you are guilty when, in fact, you are not. The latter tends to occur early in life when well-meaning or not-so-well meaning adults tell children they are guilty. They use well-meaning phrases such as: “Now don’t you be angry.” When we are truly guilty, we need to ask God for forgiveness. We know he will because of what He says in 1 John 1:9. Shame occurs when we do not live up to our own ideal. The remedy for shame is not more forgiveness, but the acceptance of God’s forgiveness.