God wants to cover you in His grace. Satan wants to clothe you in shame. Shame is the venom Satan uses to condemn us of the very sin he enticed us into. But confession is our weapon against this shame.
If we do not release the grip of shame in our lives, the lies it perpetrates could soon be processed as physical realities that will lead down a spiral of depression and despair.
The saving grace of Jesus Christ is available to us when we confess our sins before God (1 John 1:9). Below are three primary ways confession works to alleviate the deleterious affects of shame.
1. Confession Cleanses
“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7(c)).
When we expose our sins to the light, the condemnation of Satan is washed away. Satan cannot exist in the light, just like God cannot exist in the dark. When we expose our sins to the Light, Satan must let go in order to stay in the dark. If we hold on to our sin and try to run from the shame, we continue walking in the dark and God is unable to cleanse us.
Confession clears the path to reconciliation between you and your Father in heaven. Confession evaporates the residue of sin that separates us from God.
2. Confession Gives Us Power
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).
The world may warn against exposing our weaknesses and checkered past. To the world, confession may seem weak. Our flesh wants us to cling tightly to the things of this world out of fear of losing our possessions, position and influence in society.
But actually, we lose no power when we confess our sins to God. Rather, we gain power. How? “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
God has all the power. When we obey Him, that power is available to us. The Creator of the universe says, if I tell you this is good for you, I’ll make sure it turns out good for you (Romans 8:28).
The power Satan tries to convince us we have in worldly pursuits is only a mirage. We have no real power apart from Christ, who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Satan’s promise of power based on our sin only serves to separate us from God and give him a foothold to pump the venom of shame into our lives.
3. Confession Gives us Freedom
“Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin” (John 8:36).
Slaves by definition are not free. They are subject to their master. When we sin, we are subject to the master of sin. Earlier in this scripture, Jesus tells the Jews, “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). The antidote for this enslavement is the truth of God. Freedom exists in obedience to God’s Word.
When we confess our sins to God, He remembers them no more. “[A]s far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). God no longer sees what you have done. He sees what Christ did on your behalf. You are free.
If you think your sin is too bad for God to forgive, think again. Jesus Christ died to cleanse you from ALL sin. Not just “acceptable” sin. But we lose ALL freedom when we are chained to the shame of our past. Christ will free us from these chains. We just have to confess what we have done. Jesus will nail them to the cross on our behalf.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
Perhaps you’re experiencing shame of another kind; the kind that comes from being a victim of another’s sin. Unfortunately, the deceitful enemy will also use the sins of others perpetrated on you to sink the venom of shame into your life.
Abuse and exploitation are never the fault of the victim. While the cause is different, the source of shame is the same: lies of the enemy. But the good news, the cure is also the same: giving it over to God to cleanse, empower and free you to live an abundant life in Christ.