7 Instead of shame, their portion will be double;
instead of disgrace, they will rejoice over their share.
They will possess a double portion in their land;
everlasting joy will be theirs.
As a counselor, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people put themselves down. More often than not, I have found that people are much better at talking themselves (or others) down, than they are at believing and lifting one another up.
Similarly, we’re great at holding on to the shame that lives in our hearts, despite God’s forgiveness. But we must remember that through God’s grace, we are forgiven –period! Therefore, we must learn to forgive ourselves. More importantly, this means that we need to learn to let go of the shame that holds us back! Without breaking free of our shame, we are limited in our ability to freely and lovingly do good works in the name of our Lord.
Think about it: if we cannot be our strongest, loving and grace-filled selves, how can we offer our best to God? Most importantly, how do we expect to really feel good about the works we do in Christ’s name when we secretly hold onto some shame?
God’s words through Isaiah remind us that because our shame is lifted, later on, our reward will be great. Therefore with repentance, we need to shed the shame that binds us. With God’s grace, this shame that has held us back will be turned around. To live without this shame that binds us means that God will not only have us living without disgrace, but we will be dancing in “everlasting joy.” So shed your shame and live rejoicing in God’s love and grace!
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
If we are holding onto our shame, how can we expect to be our best selves for God? How does your own shame, even though you are forgiven, hold you back? Pause today and quietly consider these questions with God.
Prayer: Gracious God, through your love and grace, we are given new lives in the Spirit. But often we hold on to shame that then holds us back. Because we are forgiven, help us to let go of our shame and guilt to become our best selves in your name. Help us now to rejoice in your everlasting grace, so that we can do good works in your sweet name. Thank you, Lord, for your loving presence among us. Amen.