Wednesday, January 30, 2013

He Said She Was 'Damaged Goods'

Nothing mars a woman's radiant countenance, her beautiful, God-created image, like shame.  Guilt.  Condemnation.  Especially when it comes to her sexuality.

And while I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, He does so out of an extravagant love, designed to bring release and freedom, peace and hope. 

But shame is a whole different story, for it comes from the enemy of our souls, who prowls around like the demon he is, looking for whoever he can devour.  And shame is one of the big guns, immobilizing arrows fired at already wounded hearts, searing and distorting souls, stealing the freeing grace and mercy that Christ longs to lavish on the repentant hearts of His beloved children.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  From the past, whether those freely made choices or the anguishing, cruel victimization by another.  And from the present, trying to wade through life bowed low with the weight of the lies of shameful condemnation draped across the shoulders, slowing the steps forward, distorting the path, stealing the victory. 

Because the truth is that there is no condemnation for those who love Jesus.   

I love that Sarah's been courageous enough to share her story.  To be sure, it is shared by countless numbers of women who are passionately in love with their Savior.  You will profit by reading it.  No matter what your sexual history. 
 
Because we are not defined by our sins ... or by our victimization along the way. 
We are defined by our Savior.

Sarah writes,
'I was nineteen years old and crazy in love with Jesus when that preacher told an auditorium I was “damaged goods” because of my sexual past.  He was making every effort to encourage this crowd of young adults to “stay pure for marriage.”  He was passionate, yes, well-intentioned, and he was a good speaker, very convincing indeed.

And he stood up there and shamed me, over and over and over again.

Oh, he didn’t call me up to the front and name me.  But he stood up there and talked about me with such disgust, like I couldn’t be in that real-life crowd of young people worshipping in that church.  I felt spotlighted and singled out amongst the holy, surely my red face announced my guilt to every one.

He passed around a cup of water and asked us all to spit into it ... '

6 comments:

  1. Wow, thanks for sharing her post. I've thought so often that the church ranks sin. I have seen manipulative behavior exhibited over and over by two pastors I've sat under and that sin was never called out. I saw a troubled, self-destructive teen run away with his girlfriend (because I believe he was just looking to love and be loved by someone) and be told he could no longer be a church member unless he repented. He left the church - just when he needed us most. Who are we to decide one type of sin is so much worse than another? All sin is ugly to our Savior.

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  2. There is sweet grace and endless forgiveness from heaven above. Why we have so much trouble offering the same here on earth is very sad ...

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  3. Very powerful post. I will be back to read more.
    Also thanks for the message on my blog about how it looks. It made my day!!

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  4. Welcome, Kerry! May there be lots of food for your soul here ...

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  5. In the eyesight of God, all sin is "missing the mark". According to His word, ALL have sinned. Therefore, we should not look down on anyone else. Before He brought us out of the pit, we were once in the miry clay. None is perfect, but the Father. We are all a work in progress! Awesome post.

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  6. Amen, Victory. No one should be reaching for the first stone. No one.

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Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...

Linda

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