Today I was really struck by a passage in my Bible reading, Jeremiah 3:21-4:4 (I encourage you to read the whole thing in context). I believe it is a great picture of true repentance. I’m going to outline the characteristics of repentance that it shows, but first I would say:
One of the major issues with shame is that it blocks the essential process of recognizing and repenting of sin. This may seem counter-intuitive. Shame-filled people feel bad about themselves and feel they do wrong all the time. Shouldn't they be overly sensitive about their sin?
The answer is no. At least, not in the right way.
As Christians, it is unfortunately not the case that we arrive at a point where we never have to deal with any remnant of the sinful nature. While transformation, growth, and maturity are definite realities, and genuine change is not only possible but an essential sign of someone who has been truly born again, we will continue to be ambushed by our sinful nature while we're still living on this earth.