The world is marred by sin and reproach. Our natural environment impacts us in both positive and negative ways. When we consider our ways before the Lord, we realize how far away from Him we drifted when we did not know better, were naïve, and ignorant of the truth. Our works bear the fruit of that which is representative of the works of the flesh: a soul-led life. The human mind is indeed a powerful center of thoughts, ideas, and memories; everything we have ever thought or imagined is stored there. Living apart from the Father’s grace causes us to think, speak, and act in ways that are contrary to His heart, purpose, and will.
Shame, the ever-present “companion” of sin, is one of the most difficult and devastating realities of life that we each confront every day. The more our hearts soften to the Father, the more the wayward, sinful, shameful things stored with our minds come to the forefront of our thinking. Shame engulfs us with intense feelings of regret, disgrace, and unworthiness; it is a venom that paralyzes us into thinking that we cannot possibly have a place in God’s family. When the brilliant, searching brightness of God’s glory penetrates our hearts, we know beyond doubt that we don’t deserve His love and favor, and all we can do is fall on our knees before our great and magnificent Father. But this is not about deserving; it’s about accepting our proper place, our identity received in Christ, which is the image and likeness of our Father.
There is indeed another environment that God, our Father, allows for us to transition into. It’s called the environment of the Spirit, and is the environment where we experience His glory. The environment of the Spirit restores our hearts, bringing them into alignment with the Father’s heart, and thus reconciles us to Him. This is the environment where we realize that all things are new with us. We are a completely new being, new in spirit, soul, and body. We will always remember where we come from, but the Father will never condemn, criticize, or embarrass us. His love covers a multitude of sins! We might feel unworthy, but His grace and the atoning sacrifice of Jesus make us worthy and deserving to be seated with Him.
Forgetting our shame, however, is exceedingly difficult; almost impossible, in fact. We would almost need to be struck with amnesia in order to forget our past. However, forgetting our shame means, “forget it!” We become oblivious to the ways of the world of which we once were a part. Shame provides no value to us as a people and only misleads us. The enemy and carnal man both will shame us, if they can, to weigh us down in heart and spirit so we cannot rise up and move forward. But we must remember that as sons of God, our sins are forgiven, and shame has no bearing on our relationship with our Father. Our hearts are important to Him. As the Father has done a work in our hearts, we forever remember His goodness, knowing that we have been cleansed by His blood. Let our hearts never become self-righteous and prideful to speak down to another, but let us always be builders-up of people, helping them in Christ to wipe out their shame!