(Inna) I’ve met many young women and teenage girls who are shackled to the shame of their ugly past. I’ve held many women as they cried into my shoulder, hating themselves for what they have done or for what has been done to them. I’ve heard many girls confess that they just couldn’t forgive their past and I’ve been asked many times, if it’s mandatory to share the ugly past with your future spouse and your future children. Every time I was asked these questions, the hope in these women was almost tangible; they hoped I would say “no”.
If you are a young girl, or an older woman and you are still bound by the shame of your past, this post is for you.
“Being ashamed of your past exposes that you still haven’t accepted the forgiveness of Jesus in its totality.”
In other words, you have not forgiven yourself and you hold your own forgiveness above the forgiveness of Christ, so at this point, that is your biggest issue. You need to trust that Jesus has forgiven you and released you from your past. He took upon Himself all the shame you are feeling now. Your past no longer identifies you, but it does help explain the Grace of Jesus in your life and from what He has saved you. By hiding your past from your children or from your spouse, you diminish the work accomplished on the cross. By making ourselves appear better or more righteous than we are, we make the work of Christ appear less significant, we rob it of its fullness.
When someone comes up to us and says, I’ve been forgiven my debt; we shrug our shoulders and say, “cool”. When someone comes to us and says that have been forgiven the debt of a million dollars, we react much differently, we want to know the details, we are interested because that just doesn’t seem possible!
So it is with our Christian life. Sadly, many of us say that Jesus forgave us for everything and most people just shrug their shoulders and say “cool”. However, if we were honest about what it is Jesus had forgiven us, if we were honest about our messed up, broken pasts, our sin, our stories, people would respond differently. People would be more interested, they would understand the power and Grace of God on a much more personal level.
So the question is, when you will be sharing your story with your children, your future spouse, are you going to be the main character of your story? Or is Jesus? Are you going to be the hero? Or is Jesus? Will your story be about you? Or about Jesus?
If you teach Grace to your children, the way the Bible teaches it, your children will never look down upon you for your past mistakes, and instead they will recognize the Grace of Jesus as He saved you despite your mistakes. If your future spouse truly understands grace he will never look down at you for your past, he will treasure you because he will understand what Christ had to endure on the cross to save you. He will value you because he will understand how precious you are to Christ, and he will be overwhelmed that Christ has given your heart to him. If your spouse and your children understand Grace, they will see you as a miracle, a daughter of God. If you properly understand Grace, then there is no shame left for you, Jesus took it upon Himself, and your past is evidence that He has changed you and that He gave you a new life. Your past is your testimony of Christ’s Grace in your life and there is nothing shameful in that.
If your life story is about you, then your past will weigh you down with shame and your sin will proclaim your failure. If your life story is about Jesus, then your past will be a testimony of His amazing Grace and your sin will proclaim His victory.
If you feel shame and guilt when sharing your life story with others, perhaps it’s because you have been telling it all wrong? I challenge you to share your story with someone this week, but instead of talking about yourself, talk about Jesus, talk about the cross and talk about what He saved you from. Use your story to glorify Him!