• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Healing Shame

If you grew up here in the eighties and went to Hoggard or Hanover, you went to one area when you went to the beach. All summer we got to see everyone, every day, from either of those two high schools! At night we were right back down there walking from "house parties", to Palm Room or Red Dogs. Because we did that we got to have friends from both schools. Most years we have a "reunion" at the Palm Room for all of us who hung out together.

I always enjoy reunions, whether family, Mike's or mine. I love catching up but I am surprised at how many people do not. What breaks my heart is when someone does not come because of shame or guilt. People miss out on such fun because of a bad choice or bad choices they made in high school. Or they do not look like they think they should. Or maybe they are not as successful as they think they should be.

"The butterfly does not look back at the caterpillar in shame, just as you should not look back at your past in shame. Your past was part of your own transformation." 2 Corinthians 5: 17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" We can let all of our shame and guilt go! In John chapter 8 we read about a woman who was caught in the act of adultery. Caught with no way out. The men drug her out into town and made a spectacle of her.

But then Jesus saw her! John 8: 11, "And Jesus said to her, 'Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.'” I am sure His gaze was not condemning and harsh. He blessed her with words of forgiveness. That same God is still doing the same thing for us. He wants to offer us forgiveness, healing and hope regardless of what we have done. In John 10: 10, Jesus describes two distinct patterns of guidance. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Satan wants you to carry guilt and shame and feel worthless. God wants to forgive you, heal you, give you hope and give you life to the full!

Don't let past pain rob you of today's joy!


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