I have been thinking about posting this for awhile and have kept putting it off. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that this is personal for me. Sharing personal things is hard to do. But, after a chat with a good friend of mine yesterday, I have decided to post this.
Shame. It is an awful thing and feeling. For me personally, I have struggled with it more than once. For me, the shame also comes with feelings of unworthy-ness.
As I was chatting with my friend we began to share some of our more recent life struggles. Our stories were very different but the feelings of shame and unworthy-ness were the same. For me, when I feel like I am unworthy or feel ashamed of something I did or didn't do, it has a very negative affect on my decision making. I tend to make poor decisions because I do not feel that I have any value or that my decision really does not matter because I already screwed "it" up. It also causes me to doubt God's true love for me. It is so scary how shame sneaks right in and how it really snowballs into something so awful. The more I talked with my friend the more I realized that I had been allowing the shame and unworthy feelings to sneak back in, where they do not belong.
God does not want me to feel this way. He died on the cross so I could be set free from all of my past mistakes. He does not ask that I carry the shame of my past mistakes. He promises to make me "new".
Revelations 1:5, "And from Jesus Christ, who... washed us from our sins in his own blood."
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
He forgives me. He wipes my slate clean every single time I say, " I am sorry." He does not hold it over my head or ask my to bury it in my heart. He forgets my sins. He loves me. He died for me. He forgives me. All because I am his beloved daughter. I am worthy of his love and forgiveness - He offers it to me, for free.
Hebrews 8:12, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
I need to guard my heart a little better. I need to remind myself that He came to me. He knocked on the door of my heart and asked me to let Him in. When I feel ashamed and unworthy I fall further form God. It keeps me from allowing myself to feel His love, His grace and His forgiveness, simply because I feel I do not deserve it. And that is wrong on every level! In fact, it is exactly how satan wants me to feel. Does it mean I forget that I did something wrong? No! It means that I remember that I am forgiven and that my sins have been cast away.
Micah 7:19, "...he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea."
It means that I ignore the lies and the feelings of shame that satan wants me to believe and feel. It means I remember how great my God is because He paid the price for my sin. It means that I focus on God and how great He really is and how much He truly loves ME!
Hebrews 10:22, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."
Now, that my past sins have been forgiven, I need to leave them there, in the past, in the depths of the sea where they were cast. And I need to keep moving forward, towards the things God has for me.
Philippines 3:13, "...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before."
So, for me, out the the shame and in with the new creation - thank you God!