God doesn’t want to shame you. He wants to help remove your shame. This article was written by Tim Challies, who is a blogger, author, and book reviewer and first appeared Sept. 5, 2012.
So many Christians live their lives racked with guilt and shame. They think back to the things they did, the sins they committed, whether two days ago or two decades, and they live under a cloud of shame. This shame hurts, it burns, it incapacitates. It raises this question: What is the place of guilt, what is the place of shame, in the life of the Christian? I want to take a shot at answering that question today.
We need to begin by distinguishing between guilt and shame. Here is how I differentiate between them: Guilt is the objective reality that I have committed an offense or a crime; shame is the subjective experience of feeling humiliation or distress because of what I have done. God has made us in such a way that sin incurs guilt and guilt generates shame. But there is a catch and a caution: Guilt and shame come in helpful forms and in paralyzingly unhelpful forms. Guilt and shame can be a good gift of God or a curse of Satan. Continue reading
How do you see life here in this world? Are you optimistic? Do you cherish the good times but understand they may not last forever? Do you have a clear understanding of your role in this world?
Or perhaps you see life as mundane and empty without purpose or meaning. You look around and see a society that is a sin-soaked cesspool delivering an endless onslaught of evil, injustice, and heartache such as:
- Sex trafficking
- Broken relationships
- Disease and illnesses
- Tragic accidents
- Natural disasters
Living the Christian life is not easy.
As followers of Christ, we long to be obedient to God. We crave to be seen as righteous in his eyes and to “be holy as He is holy”. We desire to honor Christ for the sacrifice He made for us.
But it seems more often than not our quest to become obedient children fails time and time again. Along the way we run into various temptations that we just can’t seem to resist. We continue to struggle with nasty habits that have been ingrained into our way of life since we were young. We pursue our own selfish desires, while overlooking the needs of others who could benefit from our assistance. No, the Christian life is not easy. Continue reading
“It’s pretty difficult to believe God loves and accepts you after you wake up in a strange man’s apartment with a massive hangover,” said Carole. “You know you are acting in a way God would not approve, so how do you approach Him when you need His help? I just can’t bring myself to be honest and contrite with Him because I’m so ashamed of the things I am doing to degrade my body.” Continue reading
You need to read this brief column written by Chuck Swindoll where he points out that we hate waiting on God for his plan to develop for our lives. This is even more evident when we are engrossed in shame. We hate our circumstances and ourselves. We want it all to go away. It will. In God’s time.
The Highway to the Promised Land
by Chuck Swindoll Exodus 14:15-22
Had we been in charge of the Red Sea project, we would have handled it differently. Our group of engineers would have pushed back that water a week in advance. We would have installed great, massive fans to dry out the land. We would have erected huge neon signs. Somebody would have brought in concession stands to handle the hot dogs and drinks. You see, when people do it, the project takes on all the trademarks of market-driven hotshots. The supernatural is easily eclipsed by human ingenuity.
That’s not God’s plan. When He wants you cornered, outnumbered. And there are no signs. There is no slick ad campaign. There are no great human resources to trust in. There are just an uncrossable Red Sea and an encroaching army of impossibilities. So you wait. And time passes. He will fight His way at His time. Bite your nails all you want to—He’s in no hurry. Continue reading
I am going to share a story of a brave woman named Madeleine Black who suffered through being raped, tortured and humiliated at the age of 13. Following her assault, the shame and self-loathing she felt led her to act out in a promiscuous manner as a teenager. Finally, she found love with a healthy man and peace when she learned to forgive.
I am sharing her story not only because it demonstrates the strength and courage of one woman, but also to illustrate how as men when we seek to engage in a casual sexual encounter with a willing woman who we found in a chat room or through a sex app, we are adding to the insult they had suffered earlier in their lives. We are stripping away from them another sliver of their limited self-worth. We are contributing to the shame they experience when we use them for our own sexual pleasure. We are as guilty of hurting them as the individuals who originally caused them emotional, physical and sexual pain. Continue reading