The Bible tells us that we are all guilty of sin.
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,Romans 3:23 (NIV)
The dictionary tells us these definitions:
GUILT – noun
The fact or state of having committed an offense, crime, violation, or wrong, especially against moral or penal law; culpability; a feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or imagined.
SHAME – noun
The painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another.
Many in society now tell us that we should feel guilt and shame for our heritage; the acts of those who came generations before us.
While I may feel embarrassed to learn of misdeeds of my ancestors, I don’t feel in anyway responsible for them. Anyone tracing their genealogy is bound to find a miscreant in the mix. Every family tree contains a few rotten apples. Discovering a smuggler or prostitute in your genetic mix is usually greeted with humor, rather than guilt or shame. These people existed in widely different circumstances, a world vastly different than our own. They can’t be fairly judged by today’s standards.
The Scripture goes on to tell us this:
24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.Romans 3:24 (NIV)
Let each of us search our own life and conscience, make amends or restitution for our own acts, accept God’s forgiveness, and move forward doing good and not harm.