Tuesday, February 17, 2009

More about truth...

Instead of moving forward to the next two parts of the armor of God, I would like to expound a bit on living in truth. Their were several comments concerning this subject on Standing Strong Against Warfare Part 2 that needed further explanation given. I will be moving on to Part 3 later this week. Today I will address more about standing in truth and tomorrow I will be giving you the opportunity to "be" the body of Christ. Can't tell you about it yet. You'll have to check it out tomorrow....

Coming from a childhood of dysfunction myself, I know a fair bit about keeping secrets. I know what its like to live a life behind a mask. I also know what it is like to have things you are ashamed of that you want no one to know about. I carried so much shame with me it made my shoulders hunch over. The problem was, a large majority of the shame I carried was not my own. It belonged to those that did things to hurt me. As a child, I learned how to take on everyone elses shame. Dad left, my fault. Step Dad abused me, my fault. Mom to busy with her own life to love me, my fault. Marriage failed, my fault. Then on top, I added my own stuff that was worthy of feeling ashamed of.

I wore a mask that looked like I was ok but inside I was a mess. Each time I would move forward in my walk with Christ, Satan would whisper in my ear, "remember all those things that happened to you, they were all your fault." "God would never accept a person like you, give it up Sherri." Those thoughts would plague me, until I finally took some bold steps. I first went to God with my baggage and laid it at his feet. He didn't shun me. There was no big gasp from his mouth. He simply cleaned me up, washed me off, told me the truth about my past and I would never be condemned. I was redeemed by His blood. In His eyes, the past is over, gone, no looking back.

Then I found a safe place to begin to tell my story to others. James 5:16 says confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

I do believe we should be able to tell any Christian our secrets, whether they are hurts from the past or sin in the present. But that can not always be. We live in a fallen world and humans are not perfect. At times, when you share with someone, they may have sin in their life in the area of judgment or gossip. It is good to use discernment on who to share with and when God would have you share. I only say this because being vulnerable is difficult and others can make it worse if they are not in the right place with God. Sadly, in the church, at times people are even more critical and judgmental than in the world. Eventually as you get stronger and God wipes away the shame, you will begin to use the healing you find to help others.

What I have found is there is great freedom that comes from sharing the truth of my past. Hidden in the dark, things look ominous, scary and to big to overcome. In the light, there power is diminished and healing can come. When we bring things out in the open, we often find that they weren't quite as scary as we thought they were. We get so filled with lies in childhood, that when we bring them out in the light as adults and examine them we can replace them with the truth. Jesus has told me and he tells you this too.... there is no more condemnation, the past is the past and has no more hold on you.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

At this point in my journey, I can say this. To those that say "Some things are better kept just between you and God", I disagree. It some point all truth must be brought to the light.

There is nothing in my life, no hurt from the past or sin I have committed that is left in the darkness. My life and my past are an open book. I have nothing left to be ashamed of, for I have been cleansed by the blood of Christ. If someone hears my past and feels uncomfortable or begins to judge, that is not mine to take on. It is there sin that they must deal with. I no longer take on the shame or sin of others, I deal only with my own. I deal with it openly and honestly so the devil has no chance to gain a foothold.

I no longer identify who I am by my past, what I do or may not do. My identity is firmly placed in who God intended me to be from the beginning of time. God and his word never change and I find my identity in Him. Therefore, I have nothing to fear nor to be ashamed of. I am proudly my Fathers child.


Tracy said...

Oh, yes! Amen and Amen, Sherri! I've heard it said, that your only as sick as your secrets, and we all know tha satan lurks in the dark. When we expose him and his lies, and throw off guilt, shame and condemnation we find the freedom that Christ intends for us to have. And if we allow Him to, He can use our pain to comfort and help others. Thank You Jesus, for Your Light! And thank you Sherri, for opening up and sharing this.

BTW, I loved the youtube video you had at the bottom of your blog and I added it to the bottom of mine as well. Hope you don't mind! Blessings!

Lori said...

Hi Sherri,
Another great post...excellent writing, straight from the heart!
So much healing takes place (for us and others) when we are real with one another, especially when we feel vulnerable(we definitely need discernment in choosing who to share what with, but yes it is awesome when the person you are confiding in is walking closely with God).

I especially like the last 2 paragraphs...there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! "If someone hears my past and feels uncomfortable or begins to judge, that is not mine to take on." Love that! Yes, it is between them and God. Blessings to you, my friend .

Beth in NC said...

Hey girl! I've been there too. I totally understand. Satan loves to remind us of our past. I can't stand him.

And I agree -- it is great to share our experiences when it helps lead others out of the mud. Our testimonies hold great power.

Bless you for being a Light for the Lord!


Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Really interesting that you connect living in light with confession to others - things can't just be 'between you and God.' I'm not a Catholic, but have been thinking lately of how Protestants would surely benefit if we had some sort of confession. The more I read about the actual mechanics of the system - the better it sounds.

IJ said...

Great post!!! You are blessed this is something we all strugle with daily we carry dark secrets for years and ...

I was actually thinking towards this yesterday and I can see what the Holy Spirit wants me to see


Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Sherri. It confirms James 5:16:

Confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

As you said, we don't need a catholic priest or a pastor for this purpose. We just need a trusted Christian "one another" and God will provide the healing.

I also think of satan, accusing us before God's throne night and day. When we have confessed a sin, God has removed it from us and no longer remembers it. It is only un-confessed sin, that we haven't yet found the courage to entrust to God, that has any power over us.

And testifying to this, as you have done in this post, makes us an overcomer. Hallelujah!

Rev. 12:10-11: Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, "Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death."