What are your secrets? I know you have some.
Upon completing my last post Marred Yet Perfect, I’ve been thinking about stuff. Stuff I just wrote about, but other stuff too. My secret stuff.
However no matter how good I think I am at withholding my secrets, there is One Person who knows absolutely everything about me: Father God.
And … He knows your secrets too (Luke 8:17).
Our pastor a week ago spoke on “shame,” and the different ways we carry it around. Sometimes our shame is because of things we’ve done that we shouldn’t have, but sometimes the shame is because of something that happened to us that we had no control over.
Regardless of the reason for our shame, one thing is certain – we need to get rid of it. We need to remember that nothing is so horrible that our Father, who loves us more than we love ourselves, has not (and will not) forgive us for.
But He’s not going to do it if we don’t ask Him to!
Sometimes its easy for the enemy to get in my face and start reminding me of all the mean stupid things I used to do (and even do now sometimes). But when I start hearing that accusing little voice in my head saying, “you just did __________ – you’re a horrible Christian,” all I have to do is turn it right back in his face, because when I go to my Father, He’s always right by me.
Plus, He always listens (John 9:31)!
He continually reminds me that I have been washed clean because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – He shed His blood for me, and you (Ephesians 1:7).
Not long ago, our small group did a video Bible study by Matt Chandler on Psalm 119. And in this study, one thing that really caught my eye as I’ve been thinking about shame are verses 25-32.
Reading through those verses, you can see that the psalmist has been slammed to the floor. Whatever it is that he’s going through, he’s at the end of his rope. He feels he has nothing left to give (v. 25).
Have you been there? I have. Sometimes all I’ve been able to do is lay on the floor crying my eyes out.
But as the psalmist is lying there in his grief what does he do? He begins confessing whatever he can think of. He lares bare his heart, opening up to the Father everything that has been weighing him down. He realizes he cannot have peace and full rest until he comes into the shining transparent light of Jesus (v. 26). And, as he recounts all his sins (secrets) to the Father, he discovers freedom!
He also cries out asking for his Father to help him understand exactly what truth is. He wants knowledge deep down in his heart; not just in his head (v. 27).
Sometimes the shame and guilt we carry can become such a heavy burden in our lives. It scorches us, zapping all our strength. It causes us to start listening to the enemy’s lies about how rotten we are, instead of how loved we are. As you continue reading v. 28-29, you see that the psalmist has discovered this, and he lays his tired spent body before his Father, asking Him to free him from all his burdens. He doesn’t want to do things that are not right – he wants to follow God as he knows he should.
He also realizes he needs help to live the right way – he cannot do it on his own.
Neither can we…
The psalmist ends the section with powerful words:
“I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. I cling to your laws. LORD, don’t let me be put to shame! I will pursue your commands, for you expand my understanding.” [v. 30-32 NLT]
I totally admit at times I still carry shame for some of the things I used to do – but the shame I feel isn’t from my Father. Rather, it’s from me.
So when those moments come and I start hanging my head, I run like the psalmist, confessing all that’s on my heart. And I know that my Father is not ashamed of anything I’ve done, because He already knows all my secrets! He knows me inside and out.
Rest in Him, friends. There is no condemnation (and therefore we should harbor no shame) when we know Jesus (Romans 8:1)!