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Shame makes you continue to look down at yourself and not up to God.

The devil has made shame look so much like guilt, knowing that, that appeals to Christians. Appeals in a way because we think that if we shame ourselves enough, it will feel like we’ve offered real repentance. But then time goes by, and we still feel disconnected from Christ, we still feel farther from God. The fact of the matter is that our repentance will always be imperfect because we are imperfect. I remember in seminary Fr. Victor was talking about how God accepts our sacrifice of praise in liturgy and praises. He said something along the lines of how God is delighted with what we offer even when it is imperfect. He knows we are imperfect and that nothing we can ever provide would be perfect by its very nature. Still, it is wholesome to God only because of how much God values and loves us. Then he used an example of a father and child. The child gives the father a card for Father’s Day; it probably isn’t legible, but that doesn’t matter. The father knows they aren’t capable yet, but what is more important is the very love itself as a father receiving something from their child.

Shame keeps you stuck in the past, but guilt leads you into the future and gives you the solution.

Shame ruminates (overthinks) and says, “I’m so bad for doing this and that. I keep repeating the same mistakes. I’m never going to change.” Whereas guilt says, “I made a mistake, and I did this and that; let me try something else to change the outcome. And if I make the same mistake again, it’s okay, I’m human, and it is human to make mistakes.” The difference between shame and guilt makes the world of a difference in life. Recognize when you’re shaming, and you’ll be able to recognize how to change it.