Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5
Until a few years ago, I lived my life in shame. It surrounded me like a thick ugly cloud. Shame over my past….my sin….the shame left from sins of others. Full of shame….full of self loathing. I constantly beat myself up emotionally over everything I perceived as wrong or bad within me. Every mistake was a committee meeting in my head over how awful I was and how I was never going to change. When I think of those years….my stomach gets quesy because I remember the pain of shame and self hatred like it was five minutes ago. When I met Jesus and began to clear away the wreckage of my past…..started to share my secrets, the shame got less and healing began to take place through His Truth. It was such a process.
Two weeks ago, I shared my testimony as transparently as I ever had while at the local Christian high school. Admitting for the first time, in a large group my struggle with sexual addiction and my recovery through Jesus. As I shared….I didn’t feel ashamed. I was able to stand on the Truth of God’s Word and share in freedom and truth.
About ten years ago. I started to really focus on Jesus, and He brought healing to me through His Word and by deliberately practicing James 5:16, “Confess your sins to one another, pray for one another so that you may be healed”….I made the comment to my friend Kristie this past week that, the healing I have experienced these past several years has come on the backs of the women from my “old” church. They loved me….even when I shared about past sin in my life that would make some people cringe. They demonstrated the grace of Jesus in a way I had never experienced and through confession to them, the Lord brought more healing and more freedom from shame.
Today I experienced more freedom from shame, I fell into old behavior last night. I said something to a friend regarding sex that wasn’t God honoring. It just kind of fell out of my mouth…..I quickly recognized the sin for what it was. I asked my friend for forgiveness and immediately in front of her, I went to prayer audibly and asked for forgiveness. And I asked God to help me not fall into shame. It has been a long time since I’ve committed a sin like that…. I had such godly sorrow for what I said and knowing what I said was hurtful to my friend’s walk with Christ and could be a stumbling block for her.
I practiced James 5:16 with a mentor….and though my heart is broken for my sin….and that the enemy briefly got a victory…..I have not allowed him any more ground by allowing his sneering accusations to take hold. I have not fallen into shame and condemnation. Praise Jesus! That is a huge victory!! “There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) That is Truth and today I am standing on the Truth of God’s Word. No….means no….there is no shame when we are in Jesus….He took that to the cross so we can be free. And…we are free….free indeed.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.