The Difference between Shame and Guilt

Wednesday, 01 Mar 2017

Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre accurately describes shame as “a hemorrhage of the soul,” that is, a painful, unexpected, and disorienting experience. It is often linked to some painful incident—sin that has been done to us rather than by us. Shame has the power to steal our breath and smother us with condemnation, rejection, and disgust. Guilt, on the contrary, occurs due to sins actually committed. It is based on the concrete fact of the human condition: God made us and requires us to be perfect (Lev. 19:2; Matt. 5:48), but because of original sin, we have all broken his ...

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