3 AM. Wide awake, I toss and turn. The darkness of the night deepens along with the anxious turmoil in my soul. Regrets ring in my head like the sound of my alarm clock set to ring in a few short hours. No dose of melatonin can fix the mess in my mind. Shame weighs down my body heavier than my weighted blanket. I doubt I can be loved by any person, let alone God, after all of the mistakes I have made.
If you struggle with shame, you are not alone. Satan uses shame as a tactic to prevent us from feeling unconditionally loved by Jesus and equipped to share the Gospel of Christ. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God; therefore, anyone can struggle with shame. No matter what you are ashamed of, shame is not from God. God uses broken people in beautiful ways. There are many biblical examples of people who sinned in the Old and New Testaments.
Adam and Eve doubted the Lord’s provision and were tempted by Satan.
Moses was a murderer. He killed an Egyptian man beating a Hebrew and covered up his sin by burying him in the sand.
David committed adultery. He watched Bathsheba bathe on the roof and was overcome with lust. Then, he deceived and murdered Bathsheba’s husband.
The Samaritan woman at the well had five husbands and struggled with adultery. She drew water alone in the heat of the day because she was a social outcast.
Rahab the Prostitute made a living by giving her body to countless men.
Paul (known as Saul at this time) persecuted God’s chosen people. He was a mass murderer.
Peter the Disciple broke his promise to Jesus and denied him three times.
A criminal on a cross was crucified alongside Jesus.
Although they sinned, God continued to love, provide, and use these people to advance his kingdom. He does the same for us. instead of living with regret, we can choose to repent. We are never too far gone. This group included murderers, adulterers, prostitutes, and criminals. However, the Lord provided them with a new identity. We are a new creation when we give our hearts to Jesus. Our shame can fade along with our old identity.
God provided Adam and Eve with clothes (Genesis 3:21).
God still used Moses, a murderer, to lead the Israelites out of slavery and on the journey to the Promised land (Exodus 14).
David took ownership of his sin and repented. He spent a night lying on the ground face down before God. So, the Lord continued to empower and favor David (2 Samuel 12:16).
Jesus’s longest conversation recorded in the Gospel is with the Samaritan woman. He told her He is living water and the only source of fulfillment. Jews did not associate with Samaritans, let alone social outcasts. Jesus knew every sin she had ever committed. He knew her social rank. Yet, found her valuable enough to spend time with and offer his love and grace. She went to the town and proclaimed her testimony to others. Many believed in Him because of her (John 4:1-42).
Rahab the Prostitute feared the Lord. So, she took a risk and helped two Israelite spies. She knew the Lord’s power was great. She knew it would break down walls. So, the Lord saved Rahab and her family. He made her one of His chosen people. He gave her a new identity, and she is in the lineage of the Messiah (Joshua 4, Joshua 6).
Paul was on fire for God. He was one of the leaders of the early church. He is considered the author of thirteen books of the Bible, more than any other person. He wrote Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Philemon.
After his resurrection, Jesus reassured Peter the Disciple of his forgiveness. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and preached the Gospel. Three thousand people got saved in one day during the Pentecost, where he preached (Acts 2:41).
Jesus forgave the criminal on the cross and assured him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
You are never too far gone. Melatonin can be a temporary fix to sleepless nights, but the Messiah is the only lasting solution. You are made new through Christ and no longer have to live with shame. You are free; live like you are free! Share how Christ has transformed your past mistakes into something beautiful. Here is a poem about the Bible characters I wrote about:
When Adam and Eve bit into the fruit,
Sin beared it’s ugly roots.
In shame, they decided to hide
Because of their failure and pride.
but the Lord continued to provide.
The Samaritan woman at the well
Thought she deserved to go to hell,
But Jesus set her free.
He forgave her inequities.
David is also living proof.
He watched Bathsheba bathe on the roof
With lustful thoughts and false intent.
But He chose to repent.
Rahab the Prostitute was living in sin.
Giving her body to countless men.
She took advantage of their lust,
But she knew God would take Jericho deep within.
So, she gave Him her trust.
He made her one of His chosen people,
Never the same,
Because she repented from her sin, and His love remained.
She is no longer defined as a prostitute
And she is in Jesus’ family roots.
Moses murdered a Hebrew man.
Revenge in his heart. Blood on his hands.
He covered his sin; buried his body in the sand.
But with the help of God he set the Israelites free.
Lead them to the Promised Land. Broke them out of slavery.
Peter denied Jesus three times.
He forgot His power was divine.
When the rooster crowed in the morning,
He wept bitterly and started mourning.
After the resurrection, He proclaimed the things Jesus had done.
About how he performed great miracles and deeds
for those with faith as small as a mustard seed.
About His power to raise the dead
and heal those who touched his robe thread.
Three thousand people got saved in one day
at the Pentecost, when the Spirit filled him with words to say.
Saul persecuted every Christain.
Thousands of women. Thousands of men.
Until on his journey to Damascus,
a light from heaven shone all around
and he fell to the ground.
For three days, Jesus made him blind.
and he chose to leave his old ways behind.
So, he was healed by the Lord's hand
and wrote more books of the Bible than any other man.
God will deliver us too.
His work is not finished;
He is not through.
We no longer have to be ashamed
because Jesus is the name above all names.
We commit countless sins,
but we can repent and begin again.
Thank you. You died on a cross to make me new so I don’t have to live with shame. Please help me share my broken testimony and proclaim your grace. Thank you for your provision, unconditional love, and forgiveness. I repent of all of my sins.
In Jesus’s Great Name,