Sexual sin. Will the feeling of shame ever quit?
A Christian man–let’s call him “Chris”–confesses a sexual sin to Jesus, who has forgiven him. (See Ephesians 1:7.) Chris turns from the sin, knowing and dreading the moment he may sin sexually–again. He fears his error may become a life-dominating sin.
The problem: Chris keeps reminding himself of the sexual sin even though God has forgiven him and accepts him. He is a forgiven saint. He is an adopted child of the Almighty God.
His sins, like ours, are removed as far as the east is from the west.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us. Psalm 103:11-12
And God purposefully puts our mess-ups out of his mind.
I will remember their sin no more.Jeremiah 31:34
Yet Chris keeps remembering and condemning himself.
Chris focuses on what happened back there, preventing him from moving forward. He believes he not “good enough” or as “godly as others.”
He thinks (wrongly!) that God is disappointed in him. Chris feels like a worm. Dirtier than a worm. He thinks he’s a “waste of space.” These are shame words, shaming words.
He pictures a god sneering at him, pointing a divine finger. This god is not the true God, our gracious, loving, compassionate God.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1, ESV
A Solution for Shame
So where’s the best place for Chris (and others with sexual sin and shame) to look? Jesus! The founder and perfecter of our faith. Fully God, fully man. The prince of peace. Our hope.
Let’s look at Jesus’ response to folks with sexual sin and shame.
The woman caught in adultery. See John 8:1-11.
A woman was brought to Jesus at the temple, along with her accusers. They tested Jesus by asking if they should stone her.
Jesus replied, “Let him who is without sin among you be the ﬁrst to throw a stone at her.” They all eventually left. When it was just Jesus and the woman, this was his perfect opportunity to tell her off and berate her for her sin.
But he simply asked, “Where are your accusers?”
When she told him they had all gone, he responded, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”
He didnʼt tell her to sit in a corner and ruminate on her sin, but to repent and forsake it. In two words: Move on!
The woman at the well. John 4:4-30,39-43
In John 4, Jesus met a Samaritan woman at Jacobʼs well. She was not married, but living with a man. She drew water from the well in the heat of the day, probably due to her shame to not listen to the jeers of the other women.
He could see her pain and loneliness, her rejection, her sexual sin.
Again, he did not tongue-lash her. Though Samaritans and women were looked down by Jews, he began a conversation. He asked for a drink of water and then offered her living water.
Lovingly counseling her in her deepest pain, he said, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
“I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus responded, “You are right in saying, ʻI have no husbandʼ; for you have had ﬁve husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
His focus again was not on her sexual sin and shame, and his offer of living water. She gained value and hope in her shameful situation. She believed by faith and evangelized to her town.
Sexual Sin and You
Are you caught in the trap of self-condemnation, like Chris? Please know God chooses to remember your sin no more, for Jesus already paid the price for your sin by his shed blood and death on the Calvary’s Cross.
So where is the condemnation coming from?
Satan is the accuser of all believers, tempting us to stay in bondage and render us ineffective.
And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
Who will you choose to believe? God’s declaration of your forgiveness and righteousness in Christ? Or Satan’s condemning lies?
You may not FEEL forgiven, but the TRUTH is, you ARE forgiven!
Be free of shame today. God loves you.
Still stuck in shame? Our biblical counselors are here to help you have hope. We meet in person in greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, and by Skype all over the world. Contact us. Get the help and hope you need. Contact us.