We’ve all felt it or we all walk in it at one point or another. It’s that universal feeling of shame. This has really been on my heart these past few weeks as I’ve been dealing with some sin that the Spirit prodded at my heart to bring into the light and confess to a few close people in my community. The one thing holding me back was shame, which ultimately boils down to pride.
Shame is a result from the fall of man. Before sin entered the world, Genesis 2:25 says: “The man and his wife were both naked and felt no shame.” God created perfect harmony with a complete absence of shame. Think about that for a minute. So before I go any further, if you take anything from this post, please hear this: Shame is never from the Lord. Keep that in the back of your mind for the rest of what you are about to read. The turning point is when sin entered the picture. With sin, comes shame (especially unconfessed sin). Genesis 3:7 says: “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” The result of the fall brought shame–to this day. We have this tendency to hide and “clothe” ourselves, pretending we’re someone who we really aren’t. First of all, God already knows, so why keep it hidden? I’m going to get to the danger of that later though. God promises a redemptive plan–a Savior even in the midst of this. Genesis 3:15 says that He will put enmity between them, which is referring to a sacrifice (Christ) to reconcile man to Himself.
The reason we want to keep certain sinful patterns of our life hidden from others is because of shame. But here comes the good news. Like Genesis 3:15 says God will put enmity to take care of sin (and shame), He fulfilled that promise through one sacrifice. Jesus took the weight of our sin and shame, nailing it to the cross. Because of this gracious sacrifice, those who trust Christ as their Savior stand justified in the sight of God because Christ’s righteousness was poured out on our behalf. We couldn’t save ourselves, just like Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves and hide. No matter how hard we try or how many boundaries we set up, or how many times we promise ourselves to not fall into ____ again, we can’t fix our sin and with that, we can’t fix our shame. The only thing that has power to wipe shame is Jesus.
Romans 8:1-2: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” This is the essence of what the Cross accomplishes for us, when we do not even deserve it. This is why as Christians we are to be transparent in our walks. It doesn’t matter what the sin or struggle is; Christ nailed it to the cross. This verse allows a weight of shame to be lifted because there is freedom in Christ. Since He is spotless and died on our behalf, God sees beauty in those who have accepted Christ as Savior. Not because of us, but because of the blood of Jesus. We now stand on the solid rock of Christ (I love that song).
Walking in unconfessed sin because of shame is to say the Cross isn’t enough and this is exactly why it is dangerous. Shame is essentially elevating ourselves and trusting in ourselves to take care of sin. We reject the supremacy of Christ when we continue to walk with unconfessed sin and run to the law to set us free. Jesus sets us free. Bondage to sin cannot be broken and freedom cannot be had unless it is through trusting in Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection alone. Here’s one to really think about– Galatians 2:21- “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, then Christ died for nothing.” If I continue to “clothe” and “cover” myself, it is to say that the Cross isn’t enough. The cross is more than enough. It was a gift that I didn’t deserve.
As I said earlier, God already knows the sin you’re struggling with. He already knows your heart and deepest thoughts. He knows you more than you know yourself because he created you. He knows how much we choose creation over Him and yet, still chose to rescue and redeem. With this confidence, I strongly encourage you to not hold back. Don’t let shame keep you from confessing to not only God, but other people you are doing life with who can point you to Jesus. What I am not saying is to go and tell everyone and anyone your convictions that might be festering shame. That probably wouldn’t be wise. But if it is someone you trust who desires God’s glory, and in turn, wants to lead you to Jesus, consider being honest about where you’re at. Is it easy or comfortable? No. But there is freedom in confession because it loses Satan’s grip on us. It leads to humility and displays God’s glory all the more. If God lays something on your heart that you have been shameful about and feel so alone in, don’t ignore what He might be leading you to. That is His grace to reveal sin.
Evidence of God’s grace is seen in Christ-centered community. The only way we can experience freedom and grace is if we bring hidden sin into the light. Shame loses it’s weight once sin is brought to the light. I promise there is beauty in it and you will come to realize you are not alone. But more importantly, the beauty in confessing sin to others is a reflection of a desire to glorify God. By that, I mean that you are able to humble yourself (because it’s extremely pride busting to bring something into the light) and trust that God’s love and mercy is sufficient. And to trust that the Cross truly is enough to cover that sin, whatever that sin might be. It shows you are letting nothing come between you and the cross–no approval of man, no pride, no comfort, no idol. Why? Because it is surrendering your will over to God.
I hope this is encouraging for you. Remember that shame will do nothing for you but bog you down and create more bondage to sin. You don’t have to carry that weight because Christ did on your behalf and he not only carried it; He crucified and buried it! Be blessed ya’ll and look to Jesus above all else.