I read something in my Bible study today that hit home:
What you have shame over you will repeat.
Wow. So true! I have never thought of it that way, but when I think about sins that have been overcome and ones that still hang around I can certainly see the difference.
For example, getting drunk is not a struggle for me anymore. I have little to no desire to drink anymore, much more get drunk. I dont like my past behavior from that sin but I dont hold on to any shame over it. I never held any shame over it honestly. I never hid away to drink on my own. I was always pretty public about it. But then I started feeling conviction over it, I repented, that was that. I was done with drinking.
An example for the flip side, overeatting is still the struggle. I hold tons of shame on that one. For as long as I can remember my weight and how I ate held all my value. I have always eaten in secret. I would not dare have a binge session in front of someone unless they was binging with me. Even still, I would be ashamed and throughly convinced that I binged worse than they did. I would hide food wrappers and go buy more cookies to replace the cookies I ate.
I have lost weight a few times but that shame has never left so guess what would happen? Yep, what I held shame over was bound to return. Actually, it never left. I had just caged it like a wild animal while holding the gate closed til I was too wore out to hold it anymore. The last time I lost weight I swore that was it! Never again would I gain! Then week after week i watched the scale creep back up in horror. I felt like Job when he said “For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me.” (Job 3:25) I drowned in my shame and did all I could to hide the weight gain. And hide my sin.
Now, I can put blame in all sorts of places on why I assigned weight and eating so much value but that does no good. All that matters is seeing the lie in it and releasing the shame so I can be healed and move on. It may seem counterintuitive to say that overeating being revealed as sin has helped release the shame. But it has. I know what to do with sin and I know sin requires a heart change that can only come from God. I know holding it in the light of God’s love and glory will keep it out of the dark. I know accepting even this as a forgiven sin will drive away the shame.
Realizing just how much shame I have been holding onto amazes me. It amazes me that I was not able to see that before today. I am so thankful for the wisdom God reveals to us when we seek it. This is what we use as our weapon. God’s truth against the lies that come to kill and destroy. His word is our rod of correction that saves us and changes us!
I have many other examples I could give but I think you see the point. Shame keeps sin in the darkness. It keeps us from going to the cross to be washed clean. It makes us say what Peter said to Jesus when He went to wash His feet. “No, Jesus, my feet are too dirty. You will never wash my feet.” That wasnt being humble that was being full of shame. Jesus replied to him that if he doesnt let Him wash his feet then He will not be part of Him. That made Peter drop that pride filled shame and exclaim “Then wash all of me!” (John 13:1-17)
You see how shame was going to keep Peter from being washed by Jesus? Do you see how shame is actually a form of pride?
Shame says “I havent done anything to deserve to be washed clean of this. I havent worked hard enough or behaved well enough. So i need to work harder and behave better then I will be worthy! I can make myself worthy and if I dont then I need to be ashamed of myself!” Well hello shame filled pride!
Jesus tells us that no one has or ever will be able to work their way to forgiveness. We will never earn our way to be called His friend. And if we dont come to the cross believing in what He did for us and humbly accept a washing we dont deserve then He will never know us as friend.
He did the work. It is finished. There is a path directly to the heart of the Father and Jesus is the only way. He is our freedom from shame. From pride. From sin. Wont you be washed today?
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9