Monday, June 9, 2014

The Tragedy of Guilt & Shame


If you've done the Christian life for any length of time, it's no big surprise to you that the enemy of our souls prowls around like the ferocious evil beast he is.  Looking to push our buttons, trip us up, eat us alive, his goal is to render us useless for the victorious kingdom life we've been called to live.  And he'd love to get his merciless hooks into us so deep that we end up completely sidelined, wholly absorbed in the ungodly mess we've made along the way, and distracted from the essential work we've been gifted to do for Christ.

We know he loves to tempt us into falling head over heels into sin, shaking our fists in the face of God as we flagrantly disobey those ten commandments.  He's a vicious liar from the pit of hell and in that role he loves to twist even the loveliest gifts, even just subtly, into something ungodly.

But I believe that two of his big guns are the lies of guilt and shame.  And I'm not talking about the clear cut conviction of the Holy Spirit and the deep remorse that comes when we realize how we have sinned against the One who ransomed us.

I'm talking about the nebulous feelings that come over us like big wet blankets.  The enemy whispers or shouts, depending on his pleasure, hissing in the most evil of tones.  His insidious lies weigh us down, immobilize us, and keep us stuck in a pit that seems to suck us deeper and deeper into self-condemnation and loathing. 

We get lost in the ugly mire of woulda / coulda / shoulda's, defining ourselves by everything negative we've ever said or done instead of defining ourselves by our Savior.  Our eyes become hopelessly fixed on our past screw-ups with all the endless baggage that weighs us down, instead of on the blessed One who paid the priceless penalty for all our garbage.

So let's get savvy, friends.  Let's get serious with God and learn to discern when the Spirit is clearly putting His powerful finger on specific sins in our lives.  Trust me, you'll know when He does.  Let's own our stuff.  Let's experience the remorse, confessing every detail of the choices we've made to the One who longs to see us unshackled.  Ask for and receive the so desperately yearned for forgiveness.  And be on our way.

Free as a bird, soaring high, aiming for the heights of heaven's glory.

Wear the mantle of guilt and shame?  No way.  Because it's for freedom that He's set us free

'It is finished,' He said.


~ spending a bit of time with Kristen

12 comments:

  1. Powerful prose, Linda. You couldn't have said it better.

    "...he loves to twist even the loveliest gifts, even just subtly, into something ungodly."

    Yep. You've nailed it. And those heavy, piled-up rocks? Talk about a metaphor.

    Thanks for sharing this load-lifting message today...

    ~HBHW

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    1. Load-lifting. Yes. That's where I wanted to go with this. Thank you for hearing my heart.

      Warmest blessings on this cool evening, sweet lady ...

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  2. Yes, the deeper I get with God, the harder satan tries. Can't wait for heaven when we will be free of these wet blankets! Love your words tonight!

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    1. Come, Lord Jesus, come ...

      Yes, Sarah. And amen.

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  3. Amen.....guilt and shame keep us from drawing closer to God, which is what the enemy of our souls wants...there is definitely a difference between the Holy Spirit's conviction of sin and the need of repentance, which is specific and not this vague sense of guilt and shame...Yes, freedom in Christ :)

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    1. I appreciate you weighing in on this, Dolly. Thanks for taking time to share your heart ...

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  4. I think I've had a bit of that guilt and shame going on recently. In a bit of a funk today. I need to post those those words "It is finished" in multiple places. Thanks for the encouragement always found here, Linda. Much love. xoxo

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    1. It so easily creeps right on in, doesn't it, my friend. May you know in the depths of your being your true, beautiful identity in Jesus. And may that truth give you the greatest of joy!

      Hugs.

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  5. Amen, my friend! Inspiring post! We need only to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus. Easier said then done, obviously - but your encouraging post is a great place to start!

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    1. I so agree, June! This is something we can't drum up on our own. Only by His sweet and strong conviction and grace.

      Thanks for coming by tonight, friend ...

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  6. It's so simple and yet so hard for people to do this, Linda. To face our failures, no matter how ugly--knowing the God of grace can love us still. It's something I can't comprehend, but thankfully I don't have to! Satan often tries to convince me that I need to know how God's mysterious grace works or even that I I must do more than yield my sin to God. So I appreciate your attention to this issue, my friend. I just was corresponding with someone today who struggles with this very issue. I'll have to let them know about your post!

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    1. You're right, Beth. This is hard stuff. And when we try to wish or hope these burdens away it just doesn't work and we descend lower into that pit.

      Only He can do this most gracious work in us! And that takes the pressure off ... if we can only choose to yield to His loving grace.

      To hear that these words might encourage another? I'm deeply thankful.

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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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