Guilt and shame are ugly words. They sound bad and they make people feel terrible—like carrying a big load of rocks you can never put down. A couple of weeks ago Keith preached a message about shame. One of the advantages of being 48 is that I’ve dealt with so many life issues that I’m not walking around with a load of shame from my past. I figured the message would be nice but not entirely relevant.
Fortunately, or unfortunately, however you want to look at it, I was completely wrong. God used that moment in time to dig into my soul and expose some wrong thinking. It was a “hurt so good” type of moment.
So what was my big revelation? Well, there’s the shame from past sins that is haunting. Then there’s the shame that’s more about who we are as people. Like “I’m so ashamed that I can’t control my temper” or whatever. Well, I may not feel a weight from my past, but I do carry around some big bricks of shame related to who I am not. My house isn’t clean enough. I’m not a good enough wife, mother, friend, co-worker. You name it, and I’m not good enough at it. It’s part of a perfectionist’s nature to see the ideal and consistently fall short.
What I didn’t realize was that down below the waterline, where I wasn’t aware, my feelings of failure were choking me. They were casting a shadow over my day to day existence as I continually focused on what I am not and felt shame and guilt over my failure.
Facing that junk wasn’t exactly a picnic, but it’s born good fruit. I had a good talk with the Lord as He exposed the extent of my thinking. I talked to Nick about it and got to hear his perspective or my life as a wife and mother (which was much more encouraging and positive than my own viewpoint). I got to repent of not going to the Lord for direction. I need to take my feelings of failure to Him and ask Him what He thinks. If I need to repent, then so be it. If God doesn’t convict me then I need to walk in freedom.
God’s about freedom. He’s about life. He’s positive. He doesn’t want us walking around in shame and guilt. If you’re feeling shame or guilt over anything, I suggest you take it to Him and He’ll show you what to do with it……I highly recommend it!
Romans 8:1 (NKJV) There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.