shame

Silence loomed over me like a cloud while everyone else spoke about their wedding nights. They shared with one another how special it was to have their “first time” on their wedding nights. I sat silently smiling knowing that I was the one in the room – or at least believing that I was the only one – who had nothing to contribute to this conversation. Not because I wasn’t married – although I wasn’t – but because I had given myself away in the wrong ways so much sooner than these new friends of mine. They were all so sweet and kind and clean. There I sat feeling like the dirty girl, so aware of my sin before me that I could barely hold it together.

I left that party in silent tears. Tears of shame.

13735734_10101065534298239_2372863912241678513_o

Feeling the weight of my sin that night revealed what I believed about God. I believed, for some reason, that if I knew better and I did wrong that I was not His. I believed that He would not hold tightly to me if I didn’t wait until I was married. I believed that He wouldn’t give me a husband to love me because I had – in the name of independence – already given any love I had to someone who didn’t earn or deserve it.

So I cried. I cried and I asked for forgiveness again and again.

“For it is contained in Scripture: Look! I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and honored cornerstone, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame!” (1 Peter 2:6).

Not only was I forgiven, but the shame was taken from me! God didn’t have a plan to condemn me of my sins. He revealed Himself to me so that I might be saved and live in that freedom!

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

God has made me new through the sacrifice of His Son. This is what He called me into. I wasn’t in this holy nation or one of His people, but He chose me and called me out of darkness. He let me feel the conviction of my sin and graciously granted me repentance.

The girl I was before this party would not have felt shame, but instead she would have been proud. She would have made excuses in her mind and thought unkind things about the women who were walking in the counsel of the wise and following the path of the Lord. This conversation would have been “a stone to stumble over, and a rock to trip over” (1 Peter 2:8a). Why? Because she was disobedient to the message.

Here’s the thing, the Lord is faithful to save those who turn to Him. He doesn’t have to be the stone you stumble over. He can be a merciful and gracious Savior. Truthfully, He is both. And whether you turn to Him away from your sins or hold tightly to the sin you’ve learned to love, He will be perfect in every way.

Lord, I pray that our sin and shame would lead us to repentance. I pray that we would not hold tightly to our disobedience, but long for You.

Advertisements

for it is contained in Scripture…

I ask questions. A whole buncha lotta questions. If I’m getting to know you, I’ll ask questions about your family, your work, your free time, whatever! The interest is genuine. My question asking is not limited to personal questions. I want to know information. I want to learn about God and the world He created. I want to understand more than the basics. So, I ask questions.

Growing up I struggled with what to do with my questions. I remember asking, “can you be gay and Christian?” more than once without getting an answer. I was told to stop trying to stir up trouble. The problem with that answer is that my question was genuine. I didn’t understand the divide between God and man. I didn’t understand – although I didn’t know that at the time – that all humans inherit a sinful nature.

Surrounded by unbelieving friends who I loved and no one to answer my difficult questions, I believed lies. Over time I began to believe the lie that people are basically good. Those basically good people would be made better by becoming Christians. All the “don’t judge” and “you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength” out-of-context teaching became my kind of Christianity. It was a faith that didn’t require any follow through and belonged to anyone who happened to agree with any part of it at any time in their lives.

12771852_10100951239870189_4808577969015050492_o

My foundation was not biblical. It was not strong. It was non-existent.

Looking back I know that one thing would have made a huge difference when I asked a difficult question: being led to the Bible.

“For it is contained in Scripture…” (1 Peter 2:6a).

Why did Peter go there?

Because “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

When the questions are difficult – or seemingly easy – we should go to the holy scriptures. As the only infallible, inerrant Word of God, where else would we go to find the essential truths of life? If a question about sin and salvation is asked, the first place to look for the answer is the Word of God.

Peter knew this. He knew that the Scriptures held the inspired Word of our Lord. In his letter, he assumed the sufficiency of Scripture as authoritative. There is no long explanation of how the Old Testament is important. He just says, in the middle of his thought, “For it is contained in Scripture…”

Oh, that we would have the same stance on Scripture. We are so blessed to have many Bibles in our language. Let’s not remain ill-equipped by not giving Scripture its proper place in our lives.

I pray that we would stand firmly on the authority that is given within the pages of Scripture. I pray that we would stand firmly on the foundation of the Word of God. I pray that we may be adequate, equipped for every good work.