How to Heal From Shame: 3 Truths
Have you ever been so ashamed you wanted to hide? There is Hope for you.
The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
I gasped when I read this headline: “Chinese Woman Mistakes Airplane Exit as Bathroom, Deploys Evacuation Slide.”
Her mistake was all over the news. The process to put back the slide in place delayed the flight for hours. Her passport was confiscated and she probably went home with a suitcase filled with embarrassment.
The world’s perspective on our shame
That’s what the world does, relishes in pointing out faux pas. The news emphasizes misspoken words, actions and mistakes.
If the adulterous woman scenario took place today, Tweets about her affairs would be all over the news. And details of her shame would be blasted throughout the internet. But they didn’t have cell phones then. Instead, they had rocks to stone her with. And right when they were about to begin, Jesus asked which was without sin. They probably broke out in sweat as they dropped their stones on the ground.
Jesus’ perspective on our shame
Because of Jesus’ presence, things turned out differently. And since He’s alive now, still powerful, loving, and as forgiving as when He walked on earth, when we face shame that tears our insides, the end is glorious.
Three things He does when we stand facing our shame:
- He wants us to stand still, lift our face to see Him and not try to run away.
- He states His forgiveness.
- He gives advice for freedom.
“…with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’
‘No one, sir,’ she said.
‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’” (John 8:9b-11)
No matter how much we try, we’ll end up pulling wrong doors just as the Chinese woman did. Or heading down the wrong path, making huge mistakes, or doing something that makes us blush just thinking about it. That’s okay; we can rejoice because Jesus doesn’t condemn, blame or accuse…He simply forgives.
Any shame or regret hiding in your heart today?
Used with permission by Global Media Outreach from Janet Perez Eckles. In spite of her physical blindness, Janet Perez Eckles serves the Lord as an international speaker and author. She imparts inspiration at www.janetperezeckles.com.
Pray this week:
Father in heaven, You know every detail of my life. I lay my shame before You, and trust in Your forgiveness.
If you are dealing with guilt and shame, please let one of our caring volunteers know so they can help you find forgiveness.