It is said that everyone has skeletons in their closet. Everyone has things they prefer not to come to the limelight. Embarrassment that everyone will know, all the way to the desire of just not wanting to relive the past, are among the reasons to keep those bones hidden inside. So, what are your skeletons, your hidden things that are concealed, neatly packed away, in secret and under the lock and key of your heart? Most often the things in our “closet” are situations of shame. Perhaps an abortion that no one knows except you and the doctor that performed it or maybe a secret crime that went unnoticed by the law. Maybe those bones are a childhood abuse such as molestation leaving emotional scars that will never heal or a promiscuous lifestyle that has left a string of bad choices with permitted repercussions affecting your life to this very day. Maybe you are plagued with feelings of unworthiness and rejection due to childhood poverty or rejection from society. Whatever your secret skeletons are, the emotions surrounding those circumstances fail and refuse to yield to any direction of resolve and instead runs rapid with uncontrolled, undesirable behaviors that perhaps leave you in a state of wanting to give up hope all together.
Shame is such a bad deceitful foe — capitalizing on regrets, remorse, and repentance. Its strategy is to keep us in a state of long-term grief, knowing that the specific deed already done is completely irreversible after the fact. Because most likely, there are no “do-overs” when it comes to the time frame of this life. Shame is quite content in its job in keeping us in this circulator trap. We are left with memories of guilt that plague our brains, repeating scenes of events in our minds and stirring up emotions. The internal verbal anguish associated with this torture are thoughts such as:
“If only I would have ...”
“I should have never done__”
“ I wish I could have done __all over again”
Triumphing over shame
What a hideous trap shame sets for us — trying to expand our regretful feelings into a lifelong snare. But then, in walks Jesus, Savior, Redeemer and Friend; standing ready to deliver from shame and triumphing over shame, displaying the true love of the Father. We see His goal of love that trumps shame all together.
The love of God is overwhelmingly displayed in scripture time after time, and event after event. When His creation, namely us humans, fail and fall short, God is there and whatever the deed or deeds that leave us sincerely guilty, Jesus is notorious for coming and turning our grief of shame into joyous praise because of His overflowing forgiveness packed with mercy, hope and grace.
Often times when we fail in various areas of our lives and then shame, guilt and remorse fill our hearts and minds; the extreme scenario becomes a reality. If, for example, one had a secret abortion, the behavior may be to lavish other children with extra love to over-compensate for the remorse of the one lost. If one committed a secret crime that went unnoticed, true shame at its best may draw that person into model citizen behavior, over-compensating in trying to do every other citizen behavior in perfection. But these behaviors of over-compensation — the pendulum swinging to the opposite side — always fail because they cannot mask the original shame to begin with.
Jesus however paid the price to cover our sins on the cross and to make us completely shameless before Him.
If you have found yourself in this place; if you are gut-wrenching, sincere about your remorse — this is the exact place where you will meet God. Jesus, when He walked on earth as the Son of Man, went to those very people, offering Himself as freedom from the very shame that had burdened them for years: those full of shame, broken, poor, excluded, rejected, suffering from abuse, all of the shame mentioned above and so much more.
Being omnipotent, Jesus knows all, sees all and is very familiar with your shame and still desires greatly to lavish His love upon you.
Isaiah 54:4 “Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more.”
This scripture speaks of the redemptive power of God’s love. There is no need to be afraid, no need to feel disgraced or shamed, but instead there is hope, hope in the fact that God will forgive and forget our shame. In other words, He will not dwell upon it. And likewise there is hope.
1) Would you put your faith in the One that knows your shame and still loves you despite it?
2) Would you look to the One that will bring healing in the middle of shame making it bearable to function?
3) Would you put your faith in the One that has given Himself as the greatest Valentine ever?
About the Author
Simone Lake is a pastor’s wife and full-time minister, serving in various areas. Her primary areas include Bible teacher and conference speaker (both in the U.S. and internationally). In addition, she writes devotional articles in several publications, is a short-term missionary, author, prayer leader, Bible mentor and chaplain. She holds a master’s degree in Theological Studies (MTS) and attends Church on Randall Place where she serves in various capacities alongside her pastor husband.
Simone and her husband enjoy outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking the Grand Canyon, mountain bike riding and walking their Border collie dog, Scout.
Sacred Matters — Rim Reporter: online devotional articles bimonthly http://www.tradesnsales.com/
Firm Foundation: Rim Review, first Wednesday of the month
Developing Your Personal Prayer Plan (check Web site for more information)
Spiritual Disciplines for Deeper Growth (check Web site for more information)
Senior Center Bible Study — March
Read more about Simone Lake’s Bible studies, speaking engagements and upcoming events at: