“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NIV
- Shame is a tool the enemy uses in the believer’s life that robs us of the freedom and power God intended us to have. If our lives are filled with shame, we are in desperate need of an authentic and long-term remedy.
- All of our coping skills and survival strategies were attempts to overcome shame. Little did we know that those efforts offered no possible means of a solution and, in fact, worsened the problem.
- We could think of each sin (and the accompanying shame) we carry within us as a chain that we are bound to. Those chains keep us living with a sense of guilt, compelling us to drag ourselves through life heavy hearted and filled with pain.
- We could also think of the acts of violation committed against us as an actual wound inside our heart. We have been medicating that wound for years, trying to soothe it with anything we hope will take the pain away. This is often in the form of addictions, compulsions, perfectionism, control, manipulation, and so on.
- As we move toward applying the actual solution and removing the shame, the first remedy is the ability to receive forgiveness for our sins. While it sounds simple enough, many of us don’t realize how difficult it might be. We are usually prone to thinking one of two extremes: 1) We don’t need forgiveness at all, or 2) We don’t believe we “deserve” to be forgiven, so we must work for it or earn it.
- When it comes to receiving God’s forgiveness, there is an actual process and set of criteria. Anything outside those bounds will hold us in bondage and never offer us the power to overcome the shame within.
How Jesus Dealt with Sin
The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ identified with our grief and personal sin, including all the acts that were committed against us, and the things we, ourselves, did wrong. He felt the piercing reality of our transgressions, since they were placed directly onto His own body on the cross:
“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed Him down. And we thought His troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5 NLT)
When Jesus hung on the cross, He was exposed to an inconceivable act of shame. He was spit upon, laughed at, cast aside, and murdered – having done nothing wrong to deserve it. If anyone had the right to claim being a victim, it was Jesus. Instead, everything He did was mission oriented from a loving heart. He simply remained steadfast to the central mission: to forgive and restore the human race’s connection with the Father.
What Jesus understood is something we all struggle to comprehend. He knew that all evil behaviors – within us and within society – are generated by the work of Satan, and that the only way to overcome the horrible reality of the sinful human heart is to conquer it through love and forgiveness. Love and forgiveness were in fact the weapons used by God to destroy the power of Satan. By offering this love to people, Jesus Christ took on the punishment that the sinful act itself deserved. Jesus didn’t make people His enemies. He had only one true enemy – Satan and his army of demons.
This same dynamic applies in our lives as well. Since God provided a redemptive pathway back to Him, He desires that we receive it rather than live under sin’s condemnation. He also calls us to forgive others, understanding that people who commit acts of violation are in need of redemption too.
Soul health and spiritual maturity cannot be separated. Our counselors are ordained Christian ministers as well as certified and licensed Christian counselors. We are able to help you experience freedom from shame, anxiety, depression, or marriage / relationship conflict with methods that are purely Christ-centered. Please click on this link to learn much more about how our CHRISTIAN COUNSELING an help you become a more authentic follower of Christ, and help you find freedom from identity dependence.
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