A Shaming Heart
“One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let no the one who eats despises the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him” (Romans 14.2-3 ESV).
The heart is very good at shaming us. When we don’t have a full understanding of our righteousness through Christ, it is easy to fall into a pattern of shame, guilt and failure. Soon a horrible cycle of sin and shame creates a cyclone of human effort and failure, leading us further away from our freedom in grace. We begin to feel guilty about everything—what we eat, what we watch, what we say and what we do. We try to add more parameters into our life, trying to safeguard every single one of our steps, but we find we aren’t strong enough—we always let ourselves down. But God is not letdown by our failures. That is why He sent Jesus to give us His righteousness. Because of His great love, God wants to have a relationship with us, and He is not surprised by our sin. In fact, He saved us while we were still sinners (Romans 5.8). When we fully embrace that we are the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ—not because we are strong but because of God’s great mercy—we will no longer allow the sin of shame to control us. God corrects and convicts us, but He does not shame. As Christians we are in Christ, and God has no desire to shame His perfect Son. Jesus died to overcome our shame, so we are now free from it! Let us fully embrace our status as co-heirs with Christ and a holy people unto God (Romans 8.17). We will never be perfect, and we are a work in progress, but shame no longer has dominion over us. Now instead of feeling shame, we can receive the great love that God has for us, which is the only thing that will destroy the cycle of shame, guilt and failure.
“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2.4-5 NIV).