Have you ever felt ashamed? Perhaps you feel shame now. You have lied or you have slandered a friend. Perhaps you have broken a vow or betrayed a trust. You have sinned and you know it. You are guilty and you feel ashamed.

When you sin, guilt and shame are the appropriate emotions to feel. You need to confess to God and to those whom you have offended what you have done and how wrong it was. Don’t shrug off your sin or carry it as a terrible secret. Don’t explain it away as the result of circumstances or the seduction of the devil. When you see your sin for what it is and what it has done to others, you ought to be ashamed.

Guilt and shame can be good if they drive you to the Savior. When Jesus carried your sin to the cross, He also carried your shame. He “endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb. 12:2). He now sits enthroned in heaven, but it cost Him dearly. He hung on a Roman execution rack, naked and humiliated. Jesus endured shame—our shame.

When you give yourself to Jesus, who triumphed over death and experienced the shame caused by your sin, you will not only have forgiveness for what you have done, but it will be the beginning of the end of your shame.