Guarding Your Heart Against Shame

Guarding Your Heart Against Shame

Text: Romans 10:11; 1 Corinthians 6:11

Not long ago I was walking around the track of our local park district as part of my morning exercise routine. I came upon two ladies who were walking and talking at the same time. I picked up my pace to move around them, when I heard one of the ladies say to the other, “I told him to get some curtains, and keep them closed. That way, no one would see all the junk he had inside!” I had no idea who the lady was describing, but I got the impression that she was embarrassed for some other individual (maybe a son or an elderly father) in her life.

There are times when we think curtains can cover up what we don’t want others to see. We may even try to engage in a “cover-up” with what is going on in our souls as well. We try to suppress the sins of our youth, but they keep popping up in our memories. We try to forget the nasty words that a boss, a parent, or a spouse has hurled in our direction. Yet the words keep coming back, and the hurts are often unbearable. Curtains—real or figurative—just won’t work when it comes to dealing with shame.

So what can we do? For starters read again the two texts for today’s devotional. In Romans 10:11 we are reminded that those who believe on Jesus exclusively, will NEVER be put to shame! That is, God will never remind us of the sins of our past. The Heavenly Father will never use the false accusations of others to put us down.

Our second text, 1 Corinthians 6:11, is even more helpful in dealing with shame in our lives. However, it requires that we exchange shame-based thoughts for God’s thoughts. According to this life-giving text WE CAN NEUTRALIZE SHAME WHEN WE REGULARLY REVIEW OUR REDEMPTIVE BENEFITS. Take a look at what these benefits are and how we might possibly implement them into our lives.
  1. We have the redemptive benefit of deliverance. When Paul says, “You were washed,” he is taking the reader back to the ordinance of baptism. Baptism is a public declaration of one’s faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord. It also symbolizes our spiritual cleansing from all sins—past, present, and future. In baptism we are saying that we are Christ-followers, and God is saying to us, “You are my child.” So go ahead. Say it out loud if necessary: “God has cleansed me from the sin and guilt of my past. I am going to live as one who now belongs to Jesus!"
  2. We have the redemptive benefit of sanctification. When Paul says, “You have been sanctified,” he means that we have been set apart for God’s purposes, prepared to do whatever the Father might want to ask us to do. Therefore, we need to remind ourselves throughout the day, “God is my ultimate employer, and I am ready to serve Him in any way He asks.” Say it now to yourself, and say it several times throughout the day!
  3. We have the redemptive benefit of justification. When Paul says, “You have been justified,” he means that God has made a legal declaration that our shameful sins have been removed once and for all. Therefore, if you are a believer, you need to remind yourself what God has already declared: “I am a citizen of God’s Kingdom; God no longer sees me in my sin; I am declared righteous in His sight!
Have you been trying to suppress the shame and guilt of your past? Do the hurtful words of a spouse or a parent get you down? Stop trying to cover things up! Instead, make it a practice to review your “redemptive benefits” several times throughout the day. You might start by scheduling the words “WASHED-SANCTIFIED-JUSTIFIED” as a “prompt” that would appear on your “smart phone” at specific times throughout the day. Yes, keep rehearsing what God says about you. After all, what God says is the best solution you will ever find in dealing with guilt and shame.

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