To the Word

Reflections on the call to live by the Word of God

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Location: Mud Creek, Tennessee, United States

Friday, September 10, 2004

No More Shame

Guilt is a good thing. It’s a feeling God put inside each of us to let us know when we’ve done wrong. When we experience guilt we are encouraged to repent of our wrong thoughts, attitudes, or actions and to do better in the future. But when guilt becomes a way of life that hovers over us all the time, regardless of what we have done, that is shame. Guilt says, “I have done wrong;” shame says, “I am wrong.”

While shame may be helpful in convicting the sinner of his need for Christ, there really is no place for shame in the life of a Christian. Jesus Christ took our shame upon himself on the cross (Heb 12:2). As Christians, we no longer have to live in shame, for “he that believeth on Him shall not be put to shame” (Rom. 10:11; 1 Pet. 2:6).

Many Christians find it hard to get rid of shame, especially if we grew up with shame as a constant companion. Perhaps we learned early in life to feel ugly, stupid, poor, or bad. Those old habits of the heart are hard to break, even if we know in our minds that we are free in Christ.

The antidote to shame is the Word of God. As Christians, we have been adopted as children of God (Eph. 1:5) and have been seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father (Eph. 2:6). “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. . . . In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (Eph. 2:10; 3:12).

Christians through the centuries have found comfort and healing in the words of the New Testament. May they be a blessing to you, too.

Copyright 2002, Milton Stanley


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