Convection and Shame

Jul 29, 2022

I have prayed about this post for a few days now. I have laid in bed thinking through the wording of what I want to say, because I feel it is so important. My hope is that no matter who you are, no matter where you’ve been, no matter your marital status or your tax bracket…this truth will give you freedom.

I often get emails from people who feel guilty. They have messed up, they have let others down, they have ruined relationships, they have destroyed families, or they have made poor decisions. A phrase that is most common in these emails is a variation of this phrase “I just don’t know if I can forgive myself.”

For over a year I lived in this reality. I felt guilty that my wife had forgiven me, and I didn’t deserve it. I felt guilty that so many people had to pay the price for my foolish decisions. I felt guilty that I couldn’t make right all that I had done wrong. Here is what is jacked: I convinced myself that how I was feeling and the way that I was living was a Godly spiritual response to what I had done.

There is a huge difference between Godly conviction and shame. Conviction is a prompting by the Holy Spirit that something you are choosing in your life isn’t right and you need to repent (turn back to God) for it. Shame is brought on by the Enemy for a sin that you have already been forgiven of, and convinces you that you didn’t deserve that forgiveness and there is still a price to pay. You have to make up for it, you have to work it off…you aren’t good enough to be forgiven yet.

Can I just tell you something…no one deserves forgiveness! No one deserves grace. There might be consequences to your actions and there might be a series of events that happen as a result of your choices, but your forgiveness isn’t dependent on that. Your forgiveness is unconditional, it is immediate and it is enough!

Most of us, no matter our past, live in shame. We don’t live with the awareness and the freedom of our forgiveness we live with the weight and the bondage of shame. When you choose to live in shame you choose daily defeat. You choose to daily defeat who God has provided a way for you to become with His Son’s death on the cross. God longs for you to live in freedom from shame…don’t take my word for it…take His: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

A little over a year after the affair, my precious wife, who had already forgiven me, gave me the gift of this truth. One night, she just told me it was time to stop living ashamed. It was time to stop living as though I hadn’t been forgiven, and start living like I am forgiven. Those words changed my life. My prayer today is that they change yours too.