I’ve found myself lately putting greater value on certain sins than others. I have equated the value of the sin with the amount of shame that the enemy sends with it. The goal would be to not feel any shame, not to be confused with sorrow. To get to a place shame is not a factor in how we handle our sin. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 (NLT) Why do we deny our healing just because we let some sin get in the way? With the “big” sins, like pornography or cheating on your taxes, there are incredible amounts of shame poured on you so you deny confession. With “little” sins, like a white lie or taking God’s name in vain, we feel little or no shame so we don’t even think to confess. In reality all sin is the same, whether you kill someone or you disobey your mom. It all separates us from God and is all equally important to confess. Your healing is far more valuable than the mask you think you’re hiding behind. Imagine how much easier your healing will be without heaps of shame on you, due to hiding and repetition. To be clear I’m not talking about physical healing, there are lots of non sin related factors that go into that. I’m talking about emotional and spiritual healing. Becoming one with the Father. Let’s not let the fear of our sins being exposed keep us from intimacy with God.
Most people don’t know this, but I was addicted to porn for 10 years. In fact I can only think of a maybe 25 people that did before this. Which in comparison is quite a lot considering most people will never tell anyone, sadly continuing their addiction as a result. I used to say to myself that I was grossly addicted to porn, but that is just too narrow of a word. Needless to say that porn is a gross perversion of a gift from God, this does not make the addict a gross person. It can if you let your addiction become your identity, this is what happened to me. I was voraciously addicted to it. The more I consumed it the more I wanted, I couldn’t get enough. What I didn’t know was that what I consumed was consuming me. In my mid teens I was a pretty witty kid, I am still today its just a bit dryer and sprinkled with dad jokes. But back then my ammunition was corse jokes, I became the master of “that’s what she said”. I got the laugh, but it came with a cost. I remember like it was yesterday. I was a part of a summer internship that my youth group facilitated. We were sitting in a technical college class room, when the girl behind me made a remark and I turned around cracked a corse joke. She didn’t laugh but gave me more of an “h’s are ew” response. I just turned around a thought to myself “yeah, I didn’t think it was that funny either.” Later that day I was in the restroom with a friend, no we didn’t intentionally go together. We were washing our hands when he looked over at me and asked “Conan, do you know what we call you?” “No, what?” Anticipating a positive remark. “We call you the pervert.” “Oh…why?” “Because of all your jokes.” My heart hit the soles of my feet. All that I thought I was instantly became a lie. Though I didn’t recognize at the time, the Father stepped in at that moment. I felt the tug on my heart, I knew exactly what I needed to change. The next youth service I found a guy that later became my first spiritual father. I walked right up to him and told him I needed to confess. We began to meet and my healing process began. I didn’t choose at random though, so be at peace. You don’t have to pick out of a hat who to seek help from and random guys likely won’t come confess to you. There was relational equity between us from serving together. Though it was not a lot of equity at the time it was enough. Always be building relationships no matter how lighthearted. My life was changed because of relationships.
As much as my addiction consumed me, so did my fight. My every thought became fight this massive sin. How I was going to beat it tomorrow. I was misguided where the fight really was. We are not fighting to beat evil, evil is already defeated. The fight is not to conquer sin, but to get in the presence of the Father. To be present with the Father is to be absent from sin, and vice versa. To surrender to His battle for my heart. Will you surrender to the God that has waged war for your heart. He has already beat your enemy. The battle is yours to win. Your battle is not with computer screens or magazines, but with principalities and spirits of darkness. His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:5 (NLT) The Father has already extinguished the darkness, it is our choice to walk in the light.
What had kept me from the light the most was shame. “I can’t come to God with this filth on me.” Wake up, God can’t see sin. In the same way that parents refuse to see when there kids are making poor life choices, He refuses to see anything other than our true identity. But to deny the existence of the bad choices would be bad parenting, in the same way He does not deny your sinful nature. He just won’t call you by it. Would a good parent call you by your bad choices? “Drug addict come here.” “Hello my cutting daughter.” NO! Not only are you ashamed of yourself, mounds and mounds of shame are dumped on you that way. This where wounds come from. Daddy does not inflict wounds, He’s a healer. He simply cannot see you when you sin. Its impossible for Him to be with sin, therefore when you’re in it He cannot be with you. Have you ever been in a room with someone and they’re not there? They’re on the phone or lost in thought. You’re both in the room but you’re not in relationship. They’re denying your presence in the room. This is what it means when He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God is always in the room, it is your choice to acknowledge His presence. To truly welcome Him in is to deny sins entry. When we sin we leave the room, the Father will be right there waiting anxiously for you to come back. But He still cannot see sin when you re-enter. He never sees sin enter the room, but sons and daughters. He sees righteousness and goodness and all the wonderful things He calls you. This is the first thing He says, “Where are the robes of righteousness I gave you? I had them tailor made for you.” Shame really does make you look fat, at least that’s how it makes you feel. When the prodigal son returned the father didn’t acknowledge the rags or the sin, but called for the best robe to be brought out. Grace is like the little black dress or tailor made suit. You look good in it and walk with that extra bit of confidence. One thing is required though, to put on the clothes you were designed for. You have to take off your bed clothes, take off the shame.
“So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:20-14 (NIV)
You have to answer, why are you wearing shame? This question cannot be avoided if you want shame removed. This is how confession brings healing. This question is not for the sake of the Father, but for you. The truest answer I can think of is that we forget who we are. Shame is what keeps us from coming to ourselves. We sit in the pig pen because we have forgotten who we are and who our Father is. So get up and run to the Father. He will run to you. Become alive again. Let your sin nature die, don’t let it breath the air your spirit is supposed to. Then begin to celebrate.