Are you struggling with guilt or shame? Have you done something (or are doing something) that you know is wrong and yet cannot break free of it?
The very LAST thing we feel like doing is exposing our sin and weakness to someone else. Our mind and heart absolutely resists being vulnerable with someone else.
Because it sets us up for further pain. What if they look down on us? What if they condemn us? What if they cut us off? What if they share our sin with others?
These concerns are legitimate. But, to experience spiritual release and freedom, we have to embark into the ocean of uncertainty.
Listen to what God’s Word says about this:
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed…” (James 5:16).
Let me tell you how this works (and I have seen it work over and over in my life and in the lives of others).
When we humble ourselves before a trusted Jesus-follower and share our sin struggles, we are able to hear Jesus speak through them.
Too often, we ask Jesus for forgiveness of our sin(s) but we struggle to receive that forgiveness because it isn’t audible. We can’t look in His compassion-filled eyes, see the seriousness of our sin, and hear Him say, “That’s a sin I died for. You have repented of it. Of course you are forgiven. Go and sin no more.” Since we can’t see it and hear it (experience it), we may struggle to receive the forgiveness and healing that Jesus is offering to us.
Yet, when a Jesus-follower, who is serious about both holiness and grace, tells us that our sin is serious but so is Jesus’ grace (“…where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” Romans 5:20), then we may experience that “moment” we need to break free of our sin with its shame and guilt. When they look us in the eye after we have told them of our sin (and our repentance to the Lord) and say, “That sin is serious but of course Jesus has forgiven you,” that can be a profound moment that helps us break free from the chains of sin, guilt and shame.
So, are you struggling with feeling forgiven by God? Are you struggling with shame and guilt? Why not obey James 5:16, find a trusted Jesus-follower, swallow your self-defeating pride, and take the steps to move into a freedom and forgiveness you may have not felt in a very long time.