Faces are windows into people’s lives. Some may put on a brave face, but it is hard for us to mask when we feel hurt or ashamed. You can often tell by someone’s eyes or body language if they have experienced some form of trauma or an overwhelming sense of guilt.
Shame entraps us and we believe the lies that our shame makes us unlovable. We think to ourselves ‘if only they knew what I had done’ or ‘if only God knew what I have done, surely He wouldn’t love me.’ This is why shame and judgement are often words and feelings people identify with the Church or Christianity. The feeling of being unlovable or unworthy to step into a church. Yet, this conflicts with the Bible and what actually happens when we deepen our relationship with God, coming to Him with our whole lives.
Whenever I have tried justifying or hiding what I’ve done and what I am ashamed of, it has ended up meaningless. God knows when I rise and when I fall, He knows every thought and action, and He sees it all. Even more, He is all-loving and through His redeeming love we are called in to a relationship where our shame is undone.
So when I come to him as I am, He makes me new.
When you meet people who have received grace they are radiant because they are free, they are redeemed, and know that they are loved. I have experienced it myself countless times and it feels as though a weight I have unnecessarily carrying has been lifted off me.
As we look to Him, we will begin to reflect Jesus more and our friends will notice the visible changes. That’s why the psalmist writes
‘Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.’ (Psalm 34:5)
God lovingly prompts us of our sin so that we can turn away, grow and learn from it. But He does not condemn us. Paul writes that through the resurrection ‘there is now no condemnation through Christ Jesus’ (Romans 8:1). Therefore, if God does not condemn us, we do not need to condemn ourselves and define ourselves by our shame.
Today, if you are feeling ashamed of anything I encourage you to bring your mess to the cross. Let Jesus’ love restore you and know that you are free from condemnation.
Livy lives in London, where she works as a consultant in international development and goes to KXC. She loves travelling, coffee and any excuse to celebrate. Her passion is to the see the Church be known in this world for its love, authenticity, faithful teaching, and ability to meet people where they are.