“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but rather that the world might be saved through Him.” ~ John 3:17
I have been hearing lately, across the board from Christians everywhere, that there is this feeling of shame we have when it comes to how we act. “_____ is going on in my life, and I know God wouldn’t approve so I’m not praying about it” or “I did _____, and I actually liked it and I’m not ready to stop yet so I’m going to ignore Jesus.” Or even “I’ve fallen away and lost my focus on God, and I’m ashamed for it because I know better.”
Well. Regarding the first two…just cause you ignore God doesn’t mean God ignores you. God saw you anyway, and you’re totally busted. So you can stop worrying about hiding it. You’re welcome.
In all seriousnes though, God knows that we are going to make mistakes and get distracted. That doesn’t mean we’re suddenly not worthy of Him. We weren’t worthy of Him to begin with! He loves us anyway. He knows our hearts, He sees the good and the bad, and He loves us anyway. He loves you anyway. You. Yeah YOU. He sees YOU, and loves YOU, and wants walk beside you and be close to you. Not because of what you did or didn’t do. But because He created you and loves you (yes, you).
This feeling of guilt and shame is not part of who Jesus is. Yes, we all have work to do in our lives. No, none of us our perfect. Yes, we all have sins to repent. But that’s why we have the chance to repent in the first place. We repent (true repentence), and we’re forgiven. I bet there are people who harbor guilt their whole lives, get up to those pearly gates and when judgement is read, they find that a lot of their most guilty moments aren’t even mentioned. “But what about the time that I ___?” And I bet God will answer “What are you talking about? No such sin exists in my book.” Why not? You clearly remember doing it, after all. But then you repented, and the slate was wiped clean. Acts 3:19 tells us “repent, therefore, and turn to God, so that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord“. Blotted out. As in, no longer a factor. Suddenly nonexistent. That’s how much we’re forgiven. And He is there, waiting to give us that. Try it. You’ll see.
If you’ve read my posts before, I’m a big fan of transparency in the Christian walk. When we’re doing something right, it’s an encouragement to others. And we all need encouragement! When we mess up, it’s a testimony to God’s faithfulness and forgiveness in spite of ourselves, and it opens us up to prayer support that we so greatly need. If we get judged in the process…yes, that hurts. But it only hurts our pride, and we shouldn’t have too much of that anyway. And hey, Jesus was judged too, so just look at it as doing something right!
But we can’t be forgiven if we don’t talk to God about it and repent in our hearts. I firmly believe that the longlasting guilt and shame we feel is a lie directly from the enemy himself. It’s a trick. If he puts the thought in our head that we need to hide from God because of what we did, and we listen and we do hide…..suddenly we’re not repenting. We’re not talking to God about it. We’re not getting forgiven because we aren’t asking to be forgiven. And that’s exactly where Satan wants us. Not God.
So beware of guilt and shame. If you have guilt, please oh please oh please don’t hide in it. Submit it. Give it to God, and let Him get you through it. When you don’t want to tell your confidante or prayer partner about something, because you’re scared of what they’ll say, that’s probably when you need to pick up the phone immediately and call them up or get praying with them. My prayer partner and I have offended each other on occasion when weighing in on each other’s lives. But we developed a zone, the ‘no offense’ zone, where we acknowledge that we are speaking out of love. God comes into this zone with us and helps give us the words to say and guards our reactions, and it works. When we’re in the zone of “I’m not getting offended no matter what you say” and we actually talk things through, and then pray together…..it’s never as big a deal as it was in our heads.
So send that text. Pick up the phone. Get the prayer support that you need to get through it. Heck, if you don’t have a prayer partner email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll pray through it with you. Most of all, pray yourself. Don’t hide. It’s impossible to do anyway; He still sees you. Hiding only hurts you. And wouldn’t you rather have the weight be lifted off anyway? So I invite you today to put God’s faithfulness to the test. You’ll find Him just as loving and merciful as ever.