Shoving off Shame – Christ Redeems Us

Ruth opened the grand front door, and the sunshine made her eyes water. Ma had peace and joy because she loved the Lord and the Lord loved her. Ma was good, but Ruth was –

“God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Ma’s favorite verse. Ruth huffed. Not her. No matter how many times she prayed for forgiveness, her sin and punishment hung thick and black over her.

In my novel, A Memory Between Us, the heroine, Lt. Ruth Doherty, struggles with shame over her past. Last week I started a new blog series about dealing with shame that lingers after sin has been forgiven or there was no sin to begin with, as in abusive situations. (First post).

God doesn’t want us to live under a heavy cloak of shame because 1) Christ redeems us, 2) Christ covers us, and 3) Christ restores us.

Christ Redeems Us

Many years ago, I prayed for forgiveness for past sins…over and over again. One day, the Lord stopped me mid-prayer: “Sarah, do you believe Me?” What a silly question – of course I believed God! Then the still, small voice said, “So why don’t you trust Me to do as I say?”

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (italics mine). See that word will? That’s a promise! And God always keeps His promises. For more assurance on the completeness of God’s forgiveness, read Psalm 103.

Do you really believe Him? Do you trust Him to fulfill His promises? Do you trust Him to remove even the stain of your sin?

These questions may be painful. They were for me. I had to acknowledge that when I dwelled on past sins, I showed a lack of trust in God. I showed a lack of belief that He would really forgive me. And in my distrust, I minimized the magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice. One drop of His blood is enough to wash away the sins of all mankind. Isn’t it – at its core – prideful to think my sins were so great that His blood couldn’t wash them away?

The condemning voice that says you can never be forgiven doesn’t come from the Lord. Romans 8:33-34 says, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died for us – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.”

When shame says, “You’re a horrible person. God could never forgive you,” you respond, “Go away, liar! God forgave me and cast my sins away.”

4 Responses to “Shoving off Shame – Christ Redeems Us”

  1. A Hopeful Heart

    I haven’t read this book yet, Sarah. I just put in a request for inter-library loan yesterday. Perhaps they will purchase it, because after they got me A Distant Melody through inter-library loan, they then ordered it for their own collection. Anyhow, I’m looking forward to reading it.

    Interesting the subject you’re talking about. I am playing around with the beginnings of a novel. (Now that my kids are grown and I’m no longer homeschooling, I’ve been feeling the urge to write again…something I gave up when I had my first child back in 1990.) Anyhow, I am working on a novel about God’s grace and redemption towards those that have known the shame of a very promiscuous lifestyle.

    Have a wonderful day,

  2. Jill Kemerer

    It’s so hard to stop praying over and over for forgiveness of the same sin, but God forgives it the instant we ask. I wish I could get that through my thick skull!

    Your series looks so good! Congratulations!

  3. Sarah Sundin

    Patti – thanks! Libraries will often do that – so do bookstores. I’m glad you’re writing about that topic – it’s so relevent, and often neglected in Christian fiction.
    Jill – I still catch myself sometimes – but at least I catch myself :)And God is so good – He even forgives us for not believing He forgave us!