Remember that one time you did that really terrible thing? That thing you knew without a doubt was wrong but you just wanted to do it or just couldn’t help yourself in that moment? Then that one time turned into two times, then three times, and then only God knows how many times? I can relate. While it’s not something I’m particularity proud of, like Paul said, I will rather boast in my weakness so that the power of Christ may dwell in me because Jesus tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:12
“My grace is sufficient for you [My lovingkindness and my mercy are more than enough- always available- regardless of the situation]; for my power is being perfected [and is completed and shows itself most effectively] in your weakness.”
So, I won’t deny that I have weakness(es) because then I would have no need for Jesus and His power. In my denial, I remain bound in/by my weakness(es) and essentially give it the power to control me, rather than allowing the power of Christ to work through me and conquer my weakness(es).
It seems overly simple when I say it like that, I know. But I can attest to it not being so simple, its a process like anything else. The first, and in my opinion, the hardest part is getting over that shame, that guilt. Shame is a damaging emotion because it causes us to run and hide from God rather than run to and hide in Him. And I get it, because the thought process usually goes like this: how can I go to this perfect God when I’m so filthy, and expect Him to not look at me a certain way? And right here, we’ve missed it completely.
Shame will make us hide in places like social media, toxic relationships; it makes us put up a facade. All these things do not and will never help us because behind all our pretense, the shame is still there because that bad habit is still there and we still have no idea how to break it and grow out of it. The only one who can help us overcome our weaknesses is Jesus, but when shame seeps in and we allow it to have control over our minds, we prevent ourselves from receiving our deliverance as we drift further and further away from the only one who can deliver us, Jesus.
I saw a post the other day and it said:
RELIGION: “I messed up. My Dad is gonna kill me.” (We’re going to substitute ‘God’ for ‘My Dad’)
GOSPEL: “I messed up. I need to call my Dad.”
Often, we’re stuck in this religious mindset that paints God not at all as He is. A religious mindset is motivated by fear, but motivation to obey the Gospel of Christ comes from love. We have a hard time going to God because of how we see Him. We allow shame to have the upper hand because we don’t have a strong and accurate image and perception of who God is. I used to be afraid to go to God and to speak with him after I messed up because I thought that he would be upset with me.
Many times in the past, I found myself in sexual sin and I was ashamed, overwhelmed with guilt and I could never bring myself to come to God easily. It was always a struggle, a fight in my heart and in my mind because at the time, I didn’t know God as a Father… He was just God, there was no deep, intimate relationship. But when I started to build a relationship with Him and began to see and to know Him as ABBA, my Father, my Daddy, it made it easier. I was more willing to get on my knees and to speak with Him because I realized that there was no where else that I could go, no one else that I could turn to. I recognized that I needed His help and I knew that He wanted to help me because He loves me. I learned that God is never upset with me, He’s never angry. Understand that yes, God hates sin but He does not hate does who sin (us). He is a loving and understanding Father.
I’m still getting to know Him as Dad and every day He continues to show Himself to me as that and I hope that you too would get to know Him as Dad. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you as ABBA Father. and be intentional about your relationship with Him.
It’s okay if you’ve messed up over and over again, He knows ! He already knew you were going to and He’s already forgiven you and is waiting for you to run into His open arms so He can hold you close and love on you. All He wants to do is love us, if only we would let Him.
Now, I’m not saying that we should continue to sin because God is going to love us anyway and because His grace is sufficient. My point is, once we acknowledge that He loves us, we can go to Him FREELY and allow Him to teach us His ways so that we would not fall into sin. And if we so happen to fall into sin once more along the way, we know where to run to because His arms are never withheld from us and He is ready to teach us and help us become better sons and daughters if we would only open up our hearts and allow His love to overwhelm us.