Shame is a destructive emotion. It is a form of condemnation that can rob you of happiness in life and tear you down. God doesn’t want you to go through life with a load of guilt and shame. That’s why he sent Jesus Christ to set you free. Jesus won the victory for you through his death and resurrection, so if you want to live a life free of shame, you need to remind yourself daily of what Jesus did for you.
Romans 8:1 says, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). If you are a believer, if you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there is no reason for shame or guilt in your life.
This doesn’t mean that once you become a Christian you no longer sin or make mistakes. You will. But you are no longer condemned for them; you are no longer judged. You are free from their consequences because Jesus took the condemnation for you on the cross, so you can close the door on the past.
Remembering what Jesus did for you also gives you a new power greater than willpower. Willpower only lasts a few weeks or months before you give up and go back to your old habits and temptations. But “the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin …” (Romans 8:2 NLT).
There are a lot of self-help plans out there to change yourself, and with your willpower, you might succeed at doing it for a few weeks, but your own efforts only go so far. Knowing the right thing to do doesn’t mean you have the power to do it. Lasting change will only come when your inner nature changes. And the only thing that will change your sinful inner nature is the power of God’s life-giving Spirit.
God’s plan for lasting change is this: “He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4 NLT).
This devotional is copyrighted 2011 by Rick Warren. Used by permission.