“I know that you can forgive me, but I can’t seem to forgive myself.
The guilt, it holds on, just like an infection, and I need Your peace to cover me”
This is part of a song I wrote in the midst of my shame and addiction to pornography. Living in shame was the worst, especially during the first year or so when I was trying to hide my sin, cover up my tracks, and present a polished “My life is great” appearance to those around me.
I had already trusted Jesus as my Savior years before the addiction started, and I knew that He was faithful and just to forgive (1 John 1:9). But I was having the hardest time forgiving myself. The guilt and shame were so heavy upon me.
It’s much easier now for me to look back and see that even though I had confessed my sin to God, I hadn’t confessed my shame of hiding my sin from others.
The turning point in my battle against the addiction was when I confessed to close trusted brothers in Christ. I started to get prayer, accountability, and encouragement from others running the same race! James 5:6 says “Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for each other that you may be healed…”
There is a lie Satan uses that says you will be overburdened with shame if you confess your addictions, your idols, or your sins to others. But most people find just the opposite to be true. I’ve known several brothers that, after confessing their addiction, have felt an incredible release of shame! A burden lifts when a confession is made and someone actually knows that there are others who are struggling, and that there are success stories of God’s grace breaking the bondage of sin and shame!
God’s Word says that the temptations we face are common (1 Corinthians 10:13), but still we choose to believe we are alone and that no one else is giving in to these temptations. Don’t believe that lie! Don’t live in that shame!
Take it to Jesus, and if the shame is still eating at you, perhaps the Holy Spirit is urging you to confess to a brother or sister in Christ. Perhaps the shame still overwhelms you because even though you’ve confessed your sin to God, you are trying desperately to protect your image, to protect your reputation.
What if we were a people that boasted in our weakness, magnifying the cross of Jesus? What if transparency was the norm in our culture, and no sins were hidden?
I believe (and I’ve talked with others that believe it too) that God is shifting the culture of Grace Community Church! Vulnerability and transparency is becoming more common. Confession is being embraced and celebrated!
To be known, sin and all, and to still be loved is an incredible thing!
Who are we being real with and sharing our struggles with? For some it’s in a community life group, for some it’s a men’s accountability group, for some a women’s bible study, for some it’s a ministry team we serve with. If you don’t have it, I encourage you to find it!
This Sunday we’ll continue in Genesis chapter 3, looking at how sin works in our lives, and of course we’ll worship God through song!
My RightNow Media pick of the month is a session from the 2017 RightNow Media conference. Check it out!
For His Glory,