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Shame is “a painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt, or having done something that injures reputation; or by that which nature or modesty prompts us to conceal” (  It is often accompanied by a downcast look or by blushes, called confusion of face.
Shame and guilt go together.  Adam and Eve sinned.  They transgressed the commandment of God and ate of the fruit that God had specifically forbidden (Gen. 2:17; 3:1-6).  The experiential knowledge of evil produced a self-awareness of sin.  Their conscience convicted them and guilt followed.  Their guilt was intensified in the presence of God (absolute holiness).  Consequently, they hid from God.  If you are hiding from God, you might want to ask “why?”
David describes the misery of shame and guilt.  In Psalm 32, he writes, “When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.  For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me:  my moisture is turned into the drought of summer” (Psa. 32:3-4).
We can ignore the feelings of shame and guilt and by this suppression harden our hearts against God.  Men often resist God.  They stubbornly reject God’s offer of pardon and restoration of the joy and peace that comes thereby.  Instead, they escape into denial and attempt to avoid the sin problem within altogether.
David sought relief from the feelings of shame and guilt through confession of sin and a plea for mercy.  “Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.  Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.  For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me” (Psa. 51:1-3).  David sought spiritual renewal through God’s mercy.  He desired for the joy of salvation to be restored.
Confession of sin is the first step.  Then, we must repent of sin.  Repentance is a universal command of God (Acts 17:30-31).  Repentance is a change of heart that affects a change of life.  Repentance involves significant change in God’s direction according to God’s Will.
Repentance is followed by baptism into Christ.  Significantly, Peter indicates that baptism is an answer of a good conscience toward God.  “The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 3:21).  In baptism, we obtain the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38).  We taste of God’s power which changes a sinner into a saint (Rom. 6:3-4).  The old man of sin is crucified and buried and a new man in Christ is raised from the waters of baptism.  At baptism, the transition is complete.  We stop being a child of the devil and begin a new life as a child of God.  We are truly born again (John 3:3-5).  Shame is replaced with the joy and peace that comes by knowing we are right with God.
Guilt is the result of sin.  Shame is produced by guilt.  Guilt and shame should motivate us to seek relief by appealing to God’s lovingkindness and mercy.  Instead of running away and hiding from God, we must run to God.  Only then, will we find the answer of a good conscience before God.