A couple weeks ago, a certain detail of my former life (before Christ) made an attempt to sneak its way into the new. I won’t go into details. It’s an ugly part of my past, which unfortunately was self-induced through a series of lies and bad choices. It is something that I confessed and surrendered at the feet of Jesus years ago. Something I didn’t expect to rear its ugly head ever again.
But it did. With its appearing also came a familiar pain. It’s a pain that has, many times, caused me to question and doubt my identity and value in Him.
The name of the pain is shame.
Shame is ruthless and unrelenting.
It causes us to re-examine the promises that breathe the truth of who we are and what He has done for us. It tells us that our stains could never possibly be removed. That forgiveness is not within our reach. That we are destined to live forever soiled with guilt and humiliation. That the purpose and meaning of our lives has become rotten and spoiled.
Shame causes us to doubt. It causes faith to hesitate. It causes confidence to stumble. Trust to swerve and hope to falter.
I’ve dealt with this snake of shame before. I recognize its whispers. I’m familiar with its accusations.
However, this time I had a hard time shaking its voice out of my head. The murmurs lingered.
As I was talking to the Lord about it one day, the direction of my thinking took a refreshing detour – an arrow of grace leading me to the story of Rahab.
I began to wonder how she felt.
How did she feel after the walls of Jericho had fallen and she had been invited to join the Israelites in their camp?
I can imagine her joy. But I also wonder how much of that joy was veiled by the looming shadow of her shameful past.
What were the fears that afflicted her as she walked into the Israelite camp?
Will I be accepted by them? Would they ever think of me as one of their own, or will I be destined forever to carry the stamp of ‘harlot’? Will I ever really be worthy to be counted among one of God’s chosen people?
If you are not familiar with the story of this woman, I encourage you to check out Josh 2:1-24, Hebrews 11:31, James 2:25, Matthew 1:5.
When I think of Rahab, I don’t think of a prostitute. I think of a prostitute that God transformed into a woman counted worthy to not only be counted among His people, but also worthy to be grafted into the lineage of our Savior!
Shame was a part of Rahab’s story. But, without it we don’t see the depth of her redemption. Without the pain, we don’t see the magnitude of His grace.
Likewise, there are parts of my past that were painful. However, because of grace, these are no longer instruments to be used to magnify my shame, but rather to magnify the transforming power and sufficiency of His forgiveness.
Praise You, God!
What about you? Are you battling to escape the shackles of shame?
Our best defense against the attacks of shame is to fill our minds with the scriptures which speak to who God has made us to be in Christ. So that is what I will leave you with.
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. – John 1:12
He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will. – Ephesians 1:5
For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. – Romans 6:6
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. – 1 Peter 2:9
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:1-2
Megan is a wife and mother, a chocolate lover, a guitar player, and a daughter of our heavenly Father. One of her greatest passions is growing in her knowledge of our Lord and inspiring other to do the same. Come check out some of her other posts on her blog, As For My House.