There is something ugly about that five-letter word – SHAME. Shame can weigh us down, burden us, bind us, immobilize us and rob us of the life God wants for us. We experience shame in many forms.
Shame Over Past Sin
We experience shame and guilt from the past. We hide our shame on the inside along with our secrets. No one will know what happened. But we know. We can’t forget. God knows. We can’t hide anything from God. We are burdened with regret. We carry regret over what we have done or what we have left undone.
God wants us to live a shame-free life. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a “shame remover”. The gospel completely and utterly frees us from shame. Only by God’s grace are any of us freed from the power sin holds over us. No matter what we have done in our lives, no matter how serious our sin, when we give our lives to Jesus Christ, because of his suffering, death and resurrection, we are completely forgiven of all sin and given a clean slate. We are set free.
Believers have no reason to carry around shame, so leave that baggage behind! Leave it with God. It is no longer yours to bear. Leave it on the cross. The power of the gospel is far greater than the power of shame!
Shame for Not Meeting Expectations
We experience shame when we fall short of the expectations placed upon us by others. The culture around us puts pressure on us to be and look a certain way, to achieve, attain, impress and possess certain things. We experience pressure to meet some invisible mark. Family and friends unintentionally place expectations upon us that are not always good for us. When we let them down, we experience feelings of inadequacy and failure. This leads to feelings of shame for not being what others expect us to be.
The gospel is a “shame remover”. As believers in Jesus Christ, we do not need to worry about pleasing the world, the culture, or other people. We do not need to meet the false expectations placed on us by others. We belong to someone far greater than this world. We only need to worry about pleasing the God who deeply loves us and fully understands us because He is the one who created us. We can let go of the expectations of the world and quit running the race to please others. We only need to please Christ. Do not be burdened by the fears of what other people think. It only matters what God thinks. When we fully put God at the center of our lives we begin to see ourselves as God sees us instead of how the world sees us. We are set free to live joyfully in a “shame free zone”.
Ashamed of the Gospel
The Bible warns us there will be those in the surrounding culture who will be ashamed of Jesus and his words. People will not understand the gospel and even consider it foolish. The first century Christians lived out their faith boldly and unashamedly. Even though they lived in a culture that viewed Christianity with suspicion, ridicule and derision. Even though they lived during a time when Christians were arrested, persecuted, tortured and murdered for their faith in Jesus. Believers actively proclaimed their faith in Jesus Christ without fear or shame!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the reason we are able to live lives completely free from all shame. Christ came to set people free from the ugly bondage of shame. The power of the gospel is far greater than the power of shame!
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith.
Join us for our new series beginning August 27 – Not Ashamed.
-Dr. Jan Davis
Central’s Senior Pastor