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Ashamed to Repent but Not Ashamed to Sin

Ashamed to RepentSome people are ashamed to repent but not ashamed to sin.

In Daniel Defoe's well-known classic, Robinson Crusoe left home to go to sea as a sailor against the wishes of his parents. He soon came to regret his decision, but was unwilling to return home because he did not want to admit that he made a mistake. He was ashamed to have his friends and family know that he was wrong and his parents were right.

So he observes: "Some people are not ashamed to sin but they are ashamed to repent."

Consider some things we can learn:

We Should Be Ashamed to Sin.

God's word describes sin as shameful.

Daniel 9:8 - O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You.

Jeremiah 3:25 - We lie down in our shame, and our reproach covers us. For we have sinned against the Lord our God ... and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.

Jeremiah 17:13 - O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. ...

Sinning against God is shameful. All who disobey and forsake God's way ought to be ashamed.

[Exodus 32:25; 2 Samuel 13:13; Ezra 9:6; Psalm 25:3; 31:17; 35:26; 97:7; Proverbs 13:5; 19:26; 29:15; Isaiah 42:17; 45:16; Jeremiah 2:26; 8:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:14]

Yet some people are not ashamed to sin.

Jeremiah 6:15 - "Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time I punish them, they shall be cast down," says the Lord. [8:12]

Jeremiah 3:3 - ...You refuse to be ashamed.

Too many people in our society enjoy sin and are determined to follow their own way rather than God's way. They rejoice in wickedness, insist on continuing to practice it, and in many cases ridicule those who are godly. God's word says that all such conduct is shameful, and those who refuse to be ashamed of it now will be ashamed in the judgment.

[Zephaniah 3:5; Philippians 3:19]

We Should Not Be Ashamed to Repent.

The only solution to the shame of sin is to repent and serve God obediently.

Isaiah 61:7 - Isaiah prophesied regarding followers of the Messiah: Instead of your shame you shall have double honor ... Everlasting joy shall be theirs.

Isaiah 45:17 - But Israel shall be saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation; you shall not be ashamed or disgraced forever and ever.

Rather than the shame of sin, we can enjoy the blessings of forgiveness and salvation if we turn from our sins and seek to do the will of God.

[Jeremiah 31:19]

So why are many people ashamed to repent? The main answer is pride.

Like Robinson Crusoe, people simply do not want to admit to others that they are wrong.

Some are ashamed to admit immoral conduct for which they ought to repent.

Some are ashamed to admit family problems for which they ought to repent.

Some are ashamed to admit religious error for which they ought to repent.

Some are ashamed to admit they have neglected to be active in the church.

Proverbs 13:18 - Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.

Proverbs 11:2 - When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.

James 4:6,10 - But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. ... Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." [1 Peter 5:6]

As long as we refuse to repent, we continue in our sins. And if we continue to refuse to repent, the ultimate result will be everlasting punishment when, if we were willing to repent, we could receive eternal life.

[Psalm 119:78; Hebrews 12:25]


Do you have sins for which you need to repent?

Romans 1:16 - For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Do not be ashamed of the gospel and do not be ashamed to admit your sins so you can receive forgiveness by the blood of Jesus Christ.

For more information about salvation and what it requires, please visit our Bible Instruction web site at

(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2017;

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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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