What A Shame!

“To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me. Indeed, none of those who wait for You be ashamed.” (Psalm 25:1-3a NASB)

It is a beautiful and wondrous thing to experience the forgiveness of sin that is found in Christ alone! Especially when we contemplate that price that was paid to make that forgiveness available to us! But often, even though we have been forgiven from the sin, we still carry around the shame of it with us.
Shame can be spiritually debilitating. Whenever we begin to step out in faith and do the work of the Lord, our adversary whispers in our ear saying, “who do you think you are, telling people about Jesus? If they only knew about your past, they would see what a hypocrite you are for trying to do something in Jesus’ name.”
It is shame that causes people to believe the lie that they are unworthy of God’s forgiveness and grace. As a result, many spend their lives addicted, defeated, and feeling like they have messed up their spiritual lives beyond repair and are no longer useful for God. That is why so many times we turn from a sin, especially an addictive sin, and eventually go back to it. We stop the behavior, but because we have not left the shame, we don’t feel any better than we did before, and it draws us back into the trap.
And all because they have believed a lie! I love a quote I heard today by Beth Moore. She said, “Shame is satan’s laughter morphed into a human emotion.”

But walking in shame over forgiven sin is not the way Christ would have his children to live! For on the cross, Jesus not only paid for our sin, but he also bore our shame!
“keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set out for him he endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2 NET)

Isaiah prophesied about it this way (from the Amplified Bible):
“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” (Isaiah 53:4, 5 AMP)

When we carry around guilt over sin that God has already been forgiven, we are in effect saying that either we don’t really believe what God has said about forgiveness, and/or that the blood of Christ was not sufficient to pay for their sin. We dare not go there!

I am not saying that we don’t try to make amends when we sin, or not to not remember how bad the guilt and shame felt before we were forgiven. But we must also remember to leave behind both the sin and its guilt at the foot of the cross and not go back for it!