Shame From My Past
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 87 · 8 months ago

Shame From My Past

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

With Jesus your identity is received and not achieved. Sure we sometimes achieve success, but we also "achieve" failure and disappointment. When what we "achieve" defines who we are it becomes our identity - and we feel shame.

It's not just what we do.

It becomes who we are.

But Jesus offers you a brand new identity. One that is based on His performance. Not yours.

It's good to see all of you, has John said, my name is Kevin. I am the lead pastor of connect US church and I'm so glad that you are joining us today. We are going to jump right into the word this morning, and so, if you have your Bible, turn with me to the Book of Psalms. If you have a physical copy, it's like right in the middle. If you don't have one, the words will be on the screen behind me. We're going to read Psalm thirty two and then we're gonna get into the preaching portion of the service here. So Psalm thirty two. Oh, what joy for those who's disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty. When I refuse to confess my sin, my body wasted away and I groaned all day long, day and night. Your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. But finally I confessed all my sins to you and stop trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, what do you say to yourself? I say to myself I will confess my rebellion to the Lord and you forgave me all. My guilt is gone. And interlude. That's the Hebrew word Selah, which is like the music playing in the background. You know. Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the flood waters of Judgment. For you are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble, you surround me with songs of victory. The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do you not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and a bridle to keep it under control? Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who...

...trust the Lord. So rejoice in the Lord and be glad all you hobey him. Shout for joy, all whose hearts are pure, shout for joy. Shout for joy. I know some of you have come to this place today just believing that God is going to give you a little bit of joy. Right, we'll need to hear another word. You can shout for joy. Shout for joy. There we go, because our joy isn't based in our circumstances. It's not based on what happened this week or what's on the news or the stuff that you're thinking about or dealing with. Your joy comes from the Lord, and so we come here to this place asking God, believing God, that he is going to give us some joy. Shout for joy one more time. Shout for joy. I've come to preach a message to you this morning about what do we do with our past shame, and really it's about an opportunity. It's an opportunity to be healed from our shame. You know, we don't just come to a place like this to hear a good message about Psalm thirty two and and studies some Jewish culture and look at some Hebrew words, and you know, those are all good things to do in its time and place. But I believe that God's word transforms our life. It's living, it's active and it does makes a difference. and Jesus said not just to hear the words but to like, actually do them and build your life on the solid rock. And James said something similar. He said don't just be hearers of the word, but also be doers of it. And so this isn't just a sermon about how you can intellectually be...

...healed of your past shame, like it is an opportunity for that to happen in your life today. And I believe that is true, that you can be healed of your past shame or shame from your past, because I believe that I have been. And so the last two years of my high school experience I dated a girl who was a mormon and I don't really remember what led up to us dating all too much, but I remember I worked up enough courage to ask her to prom and so we went to prompt together and that was sort of the beginning of our relationship. And I just remember driving in the car one Sunday morning to church with my mom and that she was asking me about this girl and and I said, yeah, you know, she's a Mormon and I don't think that she's a Christian and I know I probably shouldn't be doing this, but and I just kind of left it there. And like this wasn't a decision that was made like one time and it affected like one moment of my life, like this is what the decision that I was making, that I was entering into a season of my life, that it was this defined my life, that this was my life. And as I thought about this topic of shame this morning, like this moment in my life, this season of my life, is probably the most obvious point of shame that I have, and I don't think it's a coincidence that this moment, the season of my life, is also the very reason why I am standing up here doing what I'm doing today. Like I believe that God wants to take the parts of life that you are most ashamed about, that...

...you feel the most shame for, and transform them and use them for his great honor and glory and to bring healing to this world. I believe that he wants to do that in your life, because I believe that he has done that in mind. And See, God was challenging me. I put my faith in Jesus when I was eight years old. But I don't know about you, you don't have to make many big decisions about your faith when you're eight. I got baptized just before I turned sixteen and shortly after getting baptized as when I entered into the relationship with this girl, and she was an amazing girl. She was very smart. We did a lot, had a lot of things in common. She was a great person. She believed in Jesus, she went to church more than I did, she was baptized, she took communion, she even went to this Bible Study Group before school, like from six o'clock to seven o'clock in the morning, like insane, like who in the world does that? So I needed to know what was happening, what was going on. How did what I believe than what the Bible said? How did it compare to what she believed and what her Cheer Church was teaching? And I had to figure it out. So I started going to church regularly, like I was going to church regularly, but I was taken notes in the sermon. I have hundreds of notes of sermons and I encourage you, if you ever write anything down, write down stuff that you hear from a sermon because you want to go back to it again. I can go into my basement and I could show you hundreds of sermon notes that I sometimes referred to from time to time, like it does a great practice to have. I also then showed up to youth group more often. Sports was the most important thing for me, but I would show up to youth group after my practice was over and I'd missed the game time and I...

...missed like the fun stuff. I just come for the lesson. I was that kid. I don't know how many people do that, but I did, and I wanted to know, I wanted to learn, and sometimes after the lesson was over we'd break up into small groups and we kind of talked about some of these things in little groups. But all along God was challenging my faith. And so the time came I graduated from High School, I went to college and we broke up, this girl and I, which she went. We went our separate ways and my freshman year of college I read the entire book of Mormon because I wanted to tell the Mormon missionaries that whenever that you talked with them, or if you have talked with them, they've asked you this question. Well, read the book of Mormon and then you'll see for yourself. So I wanted to be able to tell them, yes, I have read it. But then I always like to throw in the line I didn't read or I skipped over the parts that are directly copied from the Bibel, because I believe that to be true. So I just skipped those parts, but I read the entire thing. So I was learning, I was growing, and then I sense God was calling me to go on a missions trip to Utah. Yeah, I didn't know what a missions trip was. Hardly I knew my youth pastor and some other people in my church would sometimes go on mission trips and they went to places like Brazil and stuff like that, and our Church supported a missionary that lived in Utah and I was like, this is a thing. I don't know what it means, but it's a thing. And so the problem was, though, in order for me to do this and actually go there, I had to tell my youth pastor about this, like Oh crap, oh, oh crap, because...

I didn't want anyone at church to know about what was going on in my life. As far as I remember, no one at youth group really knew, or if they didn't know, I was dating somebody. They didn't know any of the details. I don't think my youth pastor knew. If you did, you can ask him. If I don't know, this the whole story there. But we didn't talk about it much. I didn't talk about it my parents. We didn't really talk about it that much either. Like I'd see this girl at school, we'd text all the time, but nobody knew. And like what God was doing in my heart, teaching me all these things, digging into the word, all this stuff, nobody knew about that. I was processing it all by myself because I was ashamed. I didn't want anyone to know that I was doing something that I knew was wrong and I was deep into it. Two years living with a secret, with shame. So I worked up enough courage to call my youth pastor. I don't remember what I said, but I asked them. I told him whatever and he was like, let's go to friendly he's okay. So I remember pulling up into the parking lot and getting out of the car and sitting down in the booth across from him at friendlies and I told him the whole story what I just told you, for the most part. Two years living a double life, two years hiding something so important, so impactful, because I was scared to reveal it. I was ashamed and not only was I doing something wrong, I felt like I was wrong and in a very important area...

...of my life. I wasn't living for Jesus. I called myself a Christian but I was too scared to change my life to actually follow him. So my youth pastor and I had a good conversation that day. Don't remember what exactly we talked about, but I ended up going on this mission trip to Utah and had a great week and I came back and I gave a presentation at my church. I was really looking forward to this and I shared with them about my trip and what we did and I wanted to tell them about mormonism and how you could talk to Mormon missionaries and how you could witness two Mormons and all this stuff. And I'll never forget there was a guy. He came up to me after my message. He was excited. He was like, Kevin, wow, he's like you really learned a lot about mormonism in that last week, and I said to him, yes, yes, I did, and I walked away and I'm sorry for lying to you, to him. This is public confession time, right. Yeah, I'm so, are you for lying. But Oh what joy for those, for me, who's disobedience is forgiven. Right, my guilt has been forgiven two years in a relationship. I shouldn't have been in forgiven. I know how I was wrong. I know that there's consequences for sin, but God has forgiven...

...me. and Oh what joy for those, for me, whose sin is put out of sight. That's my shame. Not only have I been forgiven for what I did wrong, my identity that was so wrapped up in this thing doesn't have to be wrapped up in that anymore. My sin is out of sight, it's gone, it's over. That's not who I am anymore, and I pray today that God will use our time together to get your sin out of sight too, because, yes, what joy for those again, for me, for you, who's record the Lord has cleared of guilt. Like when I stand before God one day, as we all will, God's not going to look at me and say, Hey, Kevin, you disobedient, you were in a relationship with somebody who wasn't a part of my family. Shame on you. No, my guilt is gone. God doesn't see that anymore. The price has been paid, the penalty has been paid. Like that isn't even a thing. I've been justified. I've been declared righteous by God because of what Jesus has done. And yes, what joy for those for me, whose lives are lived in complete honesty. That's my shame. I don't have to be ashamed of the wrong choices I've made. I can be honest about them and there is great joy in that. I don't have to hide anymore. I know I'm loved, I know I'm forgiven, I know that God is with me and that he is for me. My life is an open book. There's no hiding, no pretending. Amen. You see the difference? Guilt is I did something bad, and shame...

...is I am bad. Guilt is a wound, a moment in time, injury. Shame is a scar. It lingers at lasts. Guilt is isolated to the person who does the thing that they're guilty for, whereas shame is more contagious. Like you can share your shame, but your guilt is your own. Like the child who's mother or father abandoned them. Maybe they're imprisoned. That child might feel the shame of the situation, of the what's happening, but they're not guilty for their parents sin. or the husband or the wife whose spouse left them, or the son or daughter who's trusted people in their life, trusted adults in their life abused them, like they're not guilty for their sin, but they might feel the shame of being involved in that situation and because of their shame, they feel like their self worth is lessened. And our shame makes us believe that we are flawed, that were unworthy of love and belonging. And so what do we do? We keep secrets, we hide. Maybe it's secret financial debt, or it's your sexual past that nobody knows about. Maybe it's problems that you're dealing with in the present, like you just a couple minutes ago got a text message from that person and you're dealing with it right now. Maybe it's an addiction and for years and years and years and years and years, no buddy knows. That's not...

...really true really, because you know, I know right myself, and the enemy knows. And the words and the things that we tell ourselves, that we say to ourself about our shame like that secret. Well, that is who we are, that is our identity. Like we are damaged, we are broken, we are dirty, we are impure, and we latch onto those thoughts in our head, don't we? And then we wrongfully connect those thoughts to our identity. And that's what happens. Is David praise when I refuse to confess my sin, when we hide in our shame, David says, my body wasted away and I groaned all day long, day and night. Your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Shame destroys, and when we connect our identity with stuff that we have done, especially the bad stuff, like this versus us, like that verse was me. Like the days are hard, you know, and the nights are even harder. Are Day. I mean, try going to bed thinking these thoughts about yourself, believing them to be true. Nobody should be going to bed thinking those thoughts about themselves. So David said. Finally, I confessed all my sin to you and I stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, I will confess my rebellion to the Lord, and you forgave me. All My guilt is gone, and maybe today is your day. Make today your day. Confess it to the...

Lord, stop trying to hide it, because he will forgive you, he promises, and all your guilt and your shame can be gone. Who We lost our lights? Matt can you wiggle the connection into the computer at the bottom and see if that will do it. Otherwise we'll have to turn. There we go. We're back. Good. It was getting too serious. Anyway, if you want to, well, let me say it this way. Confess your sins to the Lord, like he promises to forgive. That is absolutely true. It is also helpful to confess them to somebody who loves you and cares a about you too, like there is healing in that, and we could have the whole Friendli's experience. If you'd like. You can sit across the booth from me and we could do the whole thing, or you could do it with somebody that you know really well, that cares about you, and just be honest, to open, to confess. There's healing that comes from that. Because Jesus, when he comes into your life, he forgives all of your sin, like all of it, not just the ones you remembered to pray and ask for forgiveness for, not just the ones on the list, not just those sins. He's forgiven you for all your past sins, all of them, even the ones you forget, all of them, and he's forgiving you of all of your present sins, like in the moment, as you're doing it right, it's already been forgiven, and same with our future sin. That's forgiven to like how many of you know,...

...you can be a Christian and you can still sin, and that is forgiven as well. So all your sin is gone. So don't let it define you, don't let it define your life. David continues. Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the flood waters of judgment, for you are my hiding place and you protect me from trouble and you surround me with songs of victory. Stop hiding from the Lord, because yes, you are guilty, yes you are ashamed and yes, God is the very place that you should run. He will protect you, he will sing songs of victory over you, and praise God that I am not ashamed of my past anymore because I know that my sin is covered by the grace of Jesus. My sin is forgiven. Yes, David continues. The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and a bridle to keep it under control. So, yes, sometimes our sin is forgiven. We believe that, we know that, but we hang onto our shame and we still need to be guided in our life. God is still going to be correcting us, he's still going to be leading us, and we just have to let him. We have to let him lead us, we have to let him guide US and follow him. And it's sort of like a race. Life is like a race, right, you're going somewhere, you're on a you're on a path, you're following Jesus. And the book of the writer of the book of Hebrews, uses this analogy as well. He says is life is like a race. And he says,...

...like all of these people, all of these Great Hall of faith it's called, and Hebrews Chapter Eleven. There's all of these people that have gone before us and they had great faith and we can be like them and and you learn from their example. And and so the writer of the book of Hebrews says this. And Hebrews Chapter Twelve, verse one. Let's rid ourselves of every obstacle and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. For four hundred and thirty years, the nation of Israel was slaves in Egypt and God called this man named Moses and said you're going to go to the Pharaoh and you're going to say let my people go. And Moses led this nation out of slavery. They crossed through the Red Sea and they went to the other side where there was great freedom, but inwardly they were still slaves. Like they crossed over, they were free, they had just gotten out of slavery, but slavery hadn't gotten out of them. And so many of us are still slaves to something that is not true about you. Like that is not true about you, that thing, that thing that you're hiding, that is not true about you. It doesn't have to control you, it doesn't have to define your life. It is not true. Let it go. You are free. Don't be slaves to it. The writer of the Book of Hereber says, let's rid ourselves of every obstacle. Throw it off, get rid of it and the sin which so easily entangles us. Throw it off and run and keep running into your freedom and don't let something that is not true about you control your life. Sounds good, right. How do you do it?...

How do you do it? Look only at Jesus, the originator and the perfector of faith. See, the only way to heal from shame is to move your focus off of what. I'm not to WHO Christ is. Get Your eyes off of your sin and only look to Jesus. Get Your eyes off of your shame and only look to Jesus. He gave you faith. He is maturing and growing your faith. Look to Jesus. Your identity should come from him and him alone. Stop defining yourself by stuff that you've done and receive the identity that comes from Jesus. He was perfect, so you don't have to be. And this Jesus for the joy sat before him. That's you and me, the joy redeeming mankind, restoring what was broken. He endured the cross, the worst possible form of execution and shame and mockery, and he despised the shame and he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. It was finished. What did Jesus Do to shame? What's that word? He despised it. Despised the shame. He despised the shame that he faced, the perfect son of God took on the sin of the entire world. Jesus took your guilt and he didn't let it define who he was. He was naked, spread on a cross, humiliated,...

...insalted, spit on. There was a mockery of a crown of thorns that was crushed into his head. But that's not who Jesus was. He despised the shame. He hated it, and Jesus despises your shame too, because shame robs us of intimacy that he's so desperately desires with you. Like shame causes us to hide and Jesus is standing there with open arms. Shame crushes our soul. It forces us to lie, to keep things hidden. You Experience Self, doubt, self hatred, and Jesus despises that. So would you just agree with Jesus this morning and just look shame right in the face and say it's shame. You are nothing to me, shame, you have no power over me. It doesn't compared to the joy set before me and intimate relationship with people, with God, shame is nothing. So are you ready to do that? Are you ready to shift your focus from not on who you are not, but on who Jesus says you are, instead of living in your guilt, to know that you are forgiven because of what Jesus did on the Cross and his resurrection, and instead of living in your shame, to live in the ultimate reality that God does not see your sin anymore, and neither should you. You despise what shame does to you and your relationship with God. It's time to tell shame you have no power over me.

You are nothing to me. You want me to feel shame for what I've done, that I should go run and hide and that God has abandoned me. You laugh at right in his face, because you could tell it that that very thing, this very thing, is what God wants to transform in my life to use for his greatest honor and glory. Believe it. You are not what you did and you are not what you do, and you aren't even what others did to you. You're not. You are who God says you are. You are free, you are forgiven, you are healed, blest, complete, chosen, accepted. That is who you are. Amen. It's a little bit of joy in the house this morning and just a few minutes we're going to take communion? Yes, because it's why not right? You got to do that, and I want to invite you in this moment to just take your eyes off of your sin and put it on to Jesus, us of what he's done for you. He paid the penalty for your sin by his own body dying on the cross and his blood that was shed for you, and he rose again to give you new life. So focus on Jesus, on who he says you are. And one of the ways I want to do this is I want to turn your attention to a song. It's called one step away by casting crowns. The line in that is lay down your shame, pick up your new name, your...

...best life is up ahead now, something like that. It's great stuff and I believe that in this moment, and maybe you're feeling a right now, that you are one step away from being healed of some of that shame that you've been hiding and hanging onto. Like this is your moment, this is your time, your one step away of focusing less on your sin and more on what Jesus has done for you. And so, if you are a Christian, or even if you're not a Christian yet, I just want to give you an opportunity in this moment to respond and just say yeah, that's me. If you, in this moment, are desiring, you want to move your focus off of your sin and more onto Jesus, would you just raise your hand just say yeah, that's me, that's me, Yeh. God, thank you that you have made this possible, that were one step away from healing. Thank you God, thank you God, Amen.

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