‘Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband– the LORD Almighty is his name– the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. Isaiah 54:4-5 NIV
He had real anger issues. His uncontrolled temper opened the doorway for a long list of casualties of people hurt by his offhand comments. He had no problem engaging in a brawl, in which he nearly killed one man. He was arrogant and proud, yet fear for his own life led him to betray his best friend at the point of his greatest need. Yet, after the transforming presence of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, Peter was no longer bound to the shame of his past.
You don’t have to search hard to realize that everyone, I mean everyone, has shameful actions in their past. My wife says often, “everybody has a story”. She is inferring that past events and decisions have brought you to your present. Some of those things we wish had never happened. Some of those things we wish we could go back and erase. Some of those things bring on embarrassment and shame. Some we hope remain in a closet that no one can find or open.
The love and presence of Jesus can remove your shame. His forgiveness and acceptance can fundamentally change your life for evermore. When Jesus was talking with the woman at the well, she confessed her extramarital affairs to him. That encounter freed her from her past mistakes that her story was defined by that moment of freedom. She openly declared to others to come and see Jesus, “He told everything about me.” What’s not in scripture, but implied, “knowing everything about my shameful past, He still loves me.”
How to become unparalyzed by the shame and fear of your past.
- Start with salvation. Jesus forgives all of your sins completely. He justifies your sin. (just-as-if-i’d never sinned). He washes your past away and let’s you take on His identity. He takes you right where you are – messed up, broken, filthy, unworthy, and forgives. He starts to love on you right at that moment when you accept Him as Lord and Savior of your life.
- Stay filled and connected to the Holy Spirit. Jesus promise to His followers was a new boldness when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. The enemy will bring accusations, the Holy Spirit will affirm your relationship as a son or daughter of God. Even the disciples prayed for a renewed connection of the Holy Spirit to be bold after the day of Pentecost.
- Confess your sins to God often. Confession allows for the blood of Jesus to wash away your guilt as far as the east is from the west. Unconfessed sin is an invitation from our enemy to keep us frozen in fear that someone will find out about our indiscretions. Keep you confessions current.
- Confess one to another, that you may be healed. Sometimes it is helpful to close the door of accusations by confessing to a friend. When things remain hidden in the dark recesses of our lives, they stay hidden from the light of truth. They keep a lie running through your mind, that this past event defines you. God’s grace received from Jesus and offered through His body (another follower) can help you walk free out of that past. You don’t have to tell everyone. But having a fellow believer in Christ hear the truth of God’s grace can shut the door in the enemy’s face.
- Stay immersed in the fruit of the Spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-control. You are what you eat. These have nothing to do with shame, fear, guilt, embarrassment, anger, bitterness, acting unbecomingly, lying, fits of rage, hatred or sexual misconduct. Ask daily for the Holy Spirit to saturate you with these life giving fruits.
On this Fear Not Friday praise God that your past is forgiven. Your shame and embarrassment have been covered by the sacrificial gift of Jesus. Your walk in victory is upon the aisle cloth of grace that Jesus purchased with His own life. Hallelujah, your shame and reproach are forgiven in Christ.
Blessings Love y’all