Psalm 103:12 “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us”.
I was really surprised the first time God showed me that I was carrying around a lot of unnecessary shame. The bible states that sin separates us from God, and this can certainly create shame. This was a different kind of shame, though. It was shame that I had held onto from sins I had repented from and asked God to forgive me for long ago.
Do you deal with shame? These are often symptoms of unresolved shame:
- Chronic depression
- Feelings of unworthiness
- Chronic guilt and regret
- Poor self image
- Inability to connect with God or others
- Unforgiveness towards others and/or self
God is merciful, and He promises to forgive us when we admit our sins to him and turn away from them. I don’t know about you, but if someone committed the same sin against me over and over again, I don’t know that I could so easily forgive that. I know that I would have to, but it would not be easy. God also forgets our sins once they are forgiven. Once something is forgiven, God never holds it against us. He doesn’t bring it up ever again. His love is perfect towards us.
“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12).
Focus on Jesus, not your sins.
Some of you may be thinking, “What???” Let me explain… One of the revelations that God gave me recently is that I need to focus on Him, not my sins. Now I’m not saying that He gave me a license to sin. I’m saying quite the opposite. The more we look to Him to fill us up, the less we will look to other things to do that instead. The more we live to please Him and follow Him, the more we will find ourselves not sinning in the same areas anymore.
This is what true repentance is all about. It is turning to God and away from your sins. We’re not supposed to walk away from our sins and keep looking back in fear or regret. We’re supposed to turn back to God, keep walking and not look back!
When you carry around shame from sins that have already been forgiven (or from hurtful things that were done to you and not even your fault), this puts a wall up between you and God that needs taken down. When we feel shameful, we hide. Often we hide ourselves not only from our friends and loved ones, but from God. When we hide ourselves from God, He is unable to heal us in those same places that we’re hiding from Him.
Do you need to forgive someone?
Often there is someone we need to forgive when we have so much hidden shame in our lives. Maybe it’s someone who abused you. Maybe you need to release yourself for something you did in your past (or just this morning). Pray that God would expose anyone you need to forgive, so He can begin to heal your heart and the pain that you have been carrying around for so long. You were not meant to carry around unresolved shame, and Jesus died to set you free from it!
Lord Jesus, I thank you that once we have asked you for forgivenss and repented, You forgive us and remember our sins no more. Any shame that we carry around after that is not from You. Please reveal any shame that we have, along with anyone we may need to forgive. Thank You for caring so much about us to set us free. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.