60 Guilty Conscience Quotes to Overcome Your Guilt

Guilty conscience quotes are highly motivating in living a life of right decisions. 

Read these quotes and inspire yourself to bring out the positivity within your thoughts and your behavior

A guilty conscience is our inner voice, which bothers us when we have done something wrong.

Learning to listen to our conscience in our daily decisions can help us avoid feeling guilty, which in turn allows us to enjoy life more.

What is a guilty conscience?

Having a guilty conscience is a natural human behavior. 

A guilty conscience is a kind of emotional response. 

“Conscious” and “conscience” have slightly different meanings but are linked together. 

For instance, ‘conscious’ means aware or awake, but conscience is a person’s moral sense, which helps us judge right and wrong. 

Being conscious keeps you aware of the act you shouldn’t have done. 

Hence, your conscience starts to bother you with the help of your consciousness. 

Here are some facts about a guilty conscience.

  • A guilty conscience is among the most misused emotions.
  • With the help of our guilty conscience, we can leave the wrong path and choose the right one. 
  • A guilty conscience is a psychological warfare tool that is widely abused.  

There are two types of guilty conscience: “Healthy Conscience” and “Unhealthy Conscience.” 

  1. A healthy conscience is a natural feeling of guilt when someone commits a wrong. It motivates us to undo the wrong if possible and avoid doing it in the future. 
  2. On the other hand, an unhealthy conscience is a temporary guilty conscience. This means it’s an unhealthy expression used by a person to punish oneself. 

In some cases, a guilty conscience might become a bigger problem, referred to as a chronic guilty conscience. 

If things extend to such a level, it usually and unconsciously triggers an emotional block. 

This type of conscience bothers you for no obvious reason. 

It’s usually associated with the vulnerability level of a person and his/her self-esteem.

Take a moment and read through our guilty conscience quotes and sayings.

Top 10 guilty conscience quotes

Following are some of the most demanding guilty conscience quotes. 

1. “How tedious is a guilty conscience!” John Webster 

2. “A guilty conscience never feels secure.” Publilius Syrus 

3. “A guilty conscience is the mother of invention.” Carolyn Wells

4. “A guilty conscience means at least you have one.” Jakob Dylan

5. “Few things are as bad as a guilty conscience.” Buchi Emecheta 

6. “A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession.” Albert Camus

7. “I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience.” Albert Einstein

8. “Was ever any wicked man free from the stings of a guilty conscience?” John Tillotson

9. “I would bear any affliction rather than be burdened with a guilty conscience.” Charles Spurgeon 

10. “Charity has always been an expression of the guilty consciences of a ruling class.” Doris Lessing

Guilty conscience quotes with powerful messages 

Here, you will find conscience quotes with a strong message. 

11. “Stricken by a guilty conscience, some men will say that I speak with excessive temerity about all men in general.” Arcangela Tarabotti

12. “There is a guilty conscience behind every brazen word and act and behind every manifestation of self-righteousness.” Eric Hoffer

13. “For the longest time, marriage has had a guilty conscience about itself. Should we believe it?–Yes, we should believe it.” Friedrich Nietzsche

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14. “I have always admired him (Bergman), and I wish I could be an equally good filmmaker as he is, but it will never happen. His love for the cinema almost gives me a guilty conscience” Steven Spielberg

15. “The dirt and scum that has attached itself to our hearts and minds is agitated and revealed by both the workings of a guilty conscience and the devouring avarice of the enemy of our souls.” John Bunyan

Quotes about having a guilty conscience

Reflect on the following quotes and see what message apply to your life.

16. “So what if I’m ninety-three? So what if I’m ancient and cranky, and my body’s a wreck? If they’re willing to accept me and my guilty conscience, why the hell shouldn’t I run away with the circus?” Sara Gruen

17. “Not all the blood of beasts On Jewish altars slain, Could give the guilty conscience peace, Or wash away the stain: But Christ, the heav’nly Lamb, Takes all our sins away, A sacrifice of nobler nam’ And richer blood than they.” Isaac Watts

18. “There are three things that earthly riches can never do; they can never satisfy divine justice, they can never pacify divine wrath, nor can they ever quiet a guilty conscience. And till these things are done, man is undone.” Thomas Brooks

19. “There comes a time when a man finds himself in front of a dark, uncrossable abyss, which he himself has spent years digging. Then the man sees that on this god’s green earth, there is but one true suffering: the torment of a guilty conscience.” Ivo Andric

20. “While many believers walk around with a guilty conscience and feel disqualified to receive God’s promises, we are able to enter a level of freedom that assures us we are qualified at any moment to boldly enter His presence, to shine with His glory, and to do great exploits for His kingdom.” Katherine Ruonala

Thoughtful guilty conscience quotes

These guilty conscience quotes are capable of empowering your conscience.

21. “A guilty conscience is not worth extra food.” Ruta Sepetys

22. “A guilty conscience has nowhere to hide.” Bangambiki Habyarimana

23. “A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing.” — Elizabeth I

24. “A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.” — Steven Wright

25. “The torture of a bad conscience is the hell of a living soul.” — John Calvin

26. “The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.” — B. C. Forbes

27. “Sometimes all you need is one person with a guilty conscience to come forward and do the right thing. Often, the miracle you need resides inside of yourself when you humbly ask for forgiveness.” Shannon L. Alder 

28. “The most effective way to silence our guilty conscience is to convince ourselves and others that those we have sinned against are indeed depraved creatures, deserving every punishment, even extermination.” Eric Hoffer

29. “We’re all continuously guilty, even if we’re not doing it intentionally to be evil. Here we are, sitting in luxury hotels, living it up on the backs of others in the third world. We all have a guilty conscience, but we do very little about it.” Michael Haneke

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30. “Those who have experienced the most have suffered so much that they have ceased to hate. Hate is more for those with a slightly guilty conscience, and who by chewing on old hate in times of peace wish to demonstrate how great they were during the war.” Thor Heyerdahl

Guilty conscience quotes for Instagram

Listed below are the most impressive and engaging conscience quotes worthy of sharing via Instagram.

31. “What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?” — Adam Smith

32. “It sounds to me like he just has a guilty conscience” Scott Riggs

33. “A guilty conscience speaks a thousand words…Just saying.” Jasmine Lee

34. “It is enough for a poet to be the guilty conscience of his age.” Saint-John Perse 

35. “There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts.” — Mahatma Gandhi

36. “If the truth scares you, know that it is your guilty conscience reacting to Truth.” Billy Graham 

37. “The only restorative for a guilty conscience is a sight of Jesus suffering on the cross.” Charles Spurgeon

38. “Fear of dying must surely mean fear of how one dies. If one can be assured of a painless death, how can one fear it, unless one is a religious fanatic with a very guilty conscience?” Dimitris Mita 

39. “Ha, no, that it’s always the wrong people who have the guilty conscience. Those who are really responsible for suffering in the world couldn’t care less. It’s the ones fighting for good who are consumed by remorse.” David Lagercrantz

40. “A good conscience fears no witness, but a guilty conscience is solicitous even in solitude. If we do nothing but what is honest, let all the world know it. But if otherwise, what does it signify to have nobody else know it, so long as I know it myself? Miserable is he who slights that witness.” Seneca

Some other interesting guilty conscience quotes 

Here are some other guilty conscience quotes that you might find interesting. 

41. “A guilty conscience is jealousy’s playground.” L. Quick 

42. “Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.” H. L. Mencken

43. “The promises made by a guilty conscience acknowledge and settle no debts.” Tove Jansson

44. “A guilty conscience is a great blessing, but only if it drives us to come home.” John R.W. Stott 

45. “He (John Puller) wanted to intimidate. Intimidated people with a guilty conscience often made mistakes.” David Baldacci

46. “Many a criminal has finally given himself over to the authorities because the accusations of a guilty conscience were worse than prison bars.” Billy Graham

47. “If a dog does not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” — Woodrow Wilson

48. “Worldlings may well be afraid, for they have an angry God above them, a guilty conscience within them, and a yawning hell beneath them; but we who rest in Jesus are saved from all these through rich mercy.” Charles Spurgeon

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49. “There is nothing to fear on earth but sin. Prison and death are nothing compared to a guilty conscience. If we are destined to suffer unjustly, if all the world forsakes us, God will not. Whatever happens, then, let us put our trust in God.” Christoph Von Schmid 

Quotes about keeping a clear conscience

Let your conscience be your guide with the following quotes.

50. “Fair play with others is primarily the practice of not blaming them for anything that is wrong with us. We tend to rub our guilty conscience against others the way we wipe dirty fingers on a rag. This is as evil a misuse of others as the practice of exploitation.” Eric Hoffer

51. “Through pride, we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience, a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune.” — Carl Jung

52. “When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society.” — Pope John Paul II

53. “I work hard, I work late, I have nothing on my conscience. When I go to bed, I sleep.” — Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

54. “I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand; I can do no other, so help me, God. Amen.” — Martin Luther

Conscience quotes to guide you through life

When you listen to your conscience when making decisions, you won’t have regrets as shown in the following quotes.

55. “There is no witness so terrible and no accuser so powerful as conscience which dwells within us.” — Sophocles

56. “A comfortable house is a great source of happiness. It ranks immediately after health and a good conscience.” — Sydney Smith

57. “The voice of conscience is so delicate that it is easy to stifle it, but it is also so clear that it is impossible to mistake it.” — Madame de Stael

58. “The safest course is to do nothing against one’s conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear of death.” — Voltaire

59. “There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all.” — Ogden Nash

60. “The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle: the roar of the crowd on the one side, and the voice of your conscience on the other.” — Douglas MacArthur

Which of these guilty conscience quotes is your favorite? 

When selecting our guilty conscience quotes, we created this collection by considering various aspects. 

First, we collected quotes that are popular and inspirational. 

We also added quotes that are easy to understand and can motivate you. 

Please let us know if you like our work by commenting in the section below. 

Tell us about your preferred guilty conscience quotes and sayings.

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