Shame

Manifold Mercy

“But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” – Ephesians 2:4,5 I love that the Bible says that God is rich in mercy. In fact, I believe His grace and forbearance come in waves, and like surfers catch the swells and ride atop their crests effortlessly, when we flow with the currents of His goodness, we experience a life that is exhilaratingly free. That said, in order to tap into this liberty, we must do one very important thing, and that is to forgive ourselves. While some of us struggle every day with the shame of wrong choices or hard living in our past, others of us grapple with the pain of not being perfect. And because our Savior has set eternity in our hearts

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Grace is Greater Than Guilt

“The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Timothy 1:14 Something I’ve learned as I’ve counseled people through the years is that shame always leads to sin and grace always leads to goodness. Nothing helpful comes from self-condemnation and guilt; rather, righteousness and holiness come from a base of grace, or an understanding that acceptance is not dependent upon behavior. The truth is that being emotionally healthy, grounded, and secure is only possible when we understand that in Christ, we are loved just as we are. God knew we were helpless to help ourselves, so He stooped down to us when we were still sinners and made us righteous by the blood of Jesus. This means that if we’ve said “yes” to our Savior’s redemption, we’ve already attained perfection in His eyes. And while

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No Shame On You

“Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” – Isaiah 61:7 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

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The Anointing of David

“Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David from that day forward. And Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.” – 1 Samuel 16:13 We’ve been talking a lot about the power of our anointing in Christ, and today, I want to explore the Biblical roots of this authority. It’s interesting to note that when Jesus walked the earth, He was frequently called Son of David. This is because He was recognized as being from the lineage of the Jew’s most highly esteemed and beloved leader. Though centuries had passed since he walked the earth, no good Hebrew could forget or cease to honor the legacy of King David — the man after God’s own heart. He had been anointed before he ever ascended the throne, and from that moment, he was full

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No Fear in Love

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18 I went to a number of different schools during my growing up years, but the one that I attended for quite a while was a Baptist school in the Valley area of L.A. For the most part, I enjoyed going there, and I think it helped my walk with God a lot. However, there was one teacher who made it a bit of a challenge. The kids called her “Mrs. Nun,” because she would remind you of a stern-faced Catholic sister, and she was constantly grimacing and instilling religious fear in the impressionable young minds of her students. She had us watch a bunch of old movies that were made in the 1960’s and 70’s about the

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Don’t Fit the Mold

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2 God did not create you to fit, follow, or fold into society, but rather to reflect His beloved Son, Jesus. In Greek mythology, there’s a villain named Procrustes, who was said to reside on the mountain pass of the sacred road to Athens. Legend has it that he would invite travelers to stay at his inn, where he offered them a one-size-fits-all bed. However, since nobody seemed to be just the right size for his accommodations, he would work hard to make them fit. If they were too tall, he’d chop off their legs, and if they were too short, he’d stretch out their limbs. The problem was that in trying

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For Your Good and His Glory

“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.” – Job 13:15 Many times, the enemy will try to harm us by using our misfortunes to fill us with shame and guilt. However, the wonderful thing about God is that He delights in turning seemingly dire and hopeless situations around for our good and His glory! There’s a story in the Old Testament about a guy named Job, who was an exceptional person. He loved God with all of his heart, and he was a hard-working, decent family man. However, out of the blue, tragedy struck him, and he lost everything he held dear — his livestock, his wife, his children, his friends, and his health. And while it seems his circumstances would have been enough to make any human being crumble, Job had a choice to make: he could

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Mercy in Pinnacle Moments

“Then Samson prayed to the Lord, ‘Sovereign Lord, remember me. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.’” – Judges 16:28 There’s no doubt that the story of Samson is a sad one. He was endowed by God with a great gift, but his appetite for earthly things led him to an untimely demise. Over a course of years, he broke all three pillars of his Nazarite vow, and when Delilah seduced him into sharing that his long hair was the key to his power, she turned him over to Philistine warriors — the very ones he had been set apart to conquer. After gouging out his eyes and sending him to prison, they held a great feast to thank their god, Dagon, for his help in capturing their enemy. As part of the evening’s festivities,

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Walk by Faith

“Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” – 2 Corinthians 5: 6-8

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Don’t Let Shame In

“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.” -Isaiah 54:4

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