It’s hard to receive love when we have guilt and shame in our lives. Shame happens when there’s something about ourselves that we hate so much that we don’t let anybody else see it. We fear rejection due to our lack of perfection, and this keeps us in a pattern of hiding — at least partially — from the very connection that can set us free. If we deal with this kind of self-condemnation and guilt, it’s important to remember that everyone who we think is perfect is not nearly as infallible as we think they are. And while we don’t want to gloat in the struggles of others, it’s a comfort to know that we are not alone in our troubling habits and hangups. The difference is whether or not we’re willing to admit that we have them. Thankfully, as children of God who are perfected by the blood of Christ, we have no reason to shy away from our issues and weaknesses. In fact, the Apostle Paul went so far as to admonish us to boast in them! As unorthodox and backwards as it seems, because we’ve been made spotless by the blood of the Lamb, we can bring every kind of sin and shame into His Light and trade it for everlasting joy. There is no disgrace or disapproval for the redeemed, so He bids us be courageous and let down our guard to love others and be loved by them in return.
My friend, you don’t need to hide any more. Shame has no hold on you, and if you take a leap of faith, you’ll discover that being honest about your hidden struggles draws people closer rather than pushing them away. When you make it clear that you’re not perfect, your authenticity attracts the very ones whose rejection you most fear, and it might just encourage them to open up in a similar manner. As you live honestly and vulnerably before others, they see the Holy Spirit shining through your cracks, and His supernatural power beckons them to experience the same glorious freedom.