Wednesday, August 3, 2016
I am not ashamed! I am not ashamed of who I am, where I come from, or my past experiences! God has been speaking to me lately about blame, shame, and guilt. He has been mercifully showing me that we are not meant to live in a state of guilt or a life full of shame... we're just not meant to, PERIOD! Of course, I am not perfect... none of us are. I've messed up, made huge mistakes, regretted some past decisions and I'll probably screw up in the future; but, I am LOVED unconditionally by the Creator of the universe and He does not want me (or anyone) to live in shame because of my past, present, or future sins. Now don't get me wrong... the Bible teaches us to strive to be Christ-like and He was perfect and without sin during his time on earth. So it is our job to try to live our lives like Christ did but we all know that we aren't perfect like He is. The Bible does give us lots of instruction and ways to live this way. Like in Romans 12:2 we are told not to conform to the ways of the world but to be transformed by renewing our mind so that we will know what is good, pleasing, and in God's will. We are supposed to stay in the Word, renew our minds and focus on following God's will for our lives. Will we mess up? YEP!!! We are humans born with a sinful nature, but God knows this! He knows EVERYTHING and He has known since before He even created us. That is why He has provided us with a way back to Him through the REDEMPTIVE and RESTORATIVE blood of His very own Son, Jesus Christ. WOW... do you guys realize how AMAZING that is?!? His love for us is so strong that he gave us His perfect Son's life and death so that we can live our earthly lives under His love, protection, and guidance and then spend eternity with Him in Paradise! That's pretty awesome if you ask me.
So what about this blame, shame and guilt business? If you look back in the Bible at some key stories you will see where different individuals really messed up but God always used their circumstance to show just how much He love us. Even as the first sin was committed when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden, God showed his love and mercy for us. After they ate of the fruit they felt guilt and were ashamed because they didn't want God to see their nakedness. After God came to them and dealt with the issue of their sin (similar to how the Holy Spirit convicts us when we have done wrong), He created garments for them to cover themselves so that they wouldn't continue to live in the shame of their nakedness. I mean, that's a clear sign of His love for us right from the get go and the Bible is full of lots of other examples of how His love is UNCONDITIONAL, REDEMPTIVE, RESTORATIVE, and PERFECT!
So as we strive to be Christ-like, keep in mind that even when we mess up God has provided us with a way back to Him in every circumstance. He understands that we have sinful nature and only expects us to follow His Word, listen to the Holy Spirit, and love others just as He has loved us! When we do fall short (because we all will... the Bible tells us this in Romans 3:23), we can trust that the blood of His Son has already cleansed our unrighteousness and He will cast our sins away from us as far as the east is from the west if we will only come to Him in repentance. Once we have confessed our sins and repented... there is no more condemnation! NO SHAME!!! Can I get an AMEN!?! As children of God we do not have to live with shame and guilt from our mistakes! That's a whole lot of love that God is pouring out on us! It's time to accept it and move past the condemnation and allow God to work through us by loving, forgiving, and releasing others in our life from any blame, guilt, shame that we have placed on them. Let go, Let God, and Just Love!