Overcoming sin is one of the first steps toward a changed life. Overcoming shame is often one of the second. And it can take a lifetime to learn to walk in complete victory. Having been raised in an environment surrounded by vice, Tina Royer had no idea how steep the path leading out of the wilderness would be. The chains of addiction and sexual immorality had chased her for her entire life, and the battle didn’t end when she was baptized. In fact, in many ways, the battle was just beginning. Her journey shows us that while it isn’t always easy to hear and trust the voice of God, with His help we can overcome anything.
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Excerpt from Restoring Love
Shame is a strange thing. When we sin, we try to hide what we’ve done. Our attempt is futile. God already knows what we’ve done. If we would just go to Him and confess, He would give us the strength to confess to others if need be. But instead of acknowledging our mistake to Him and to others, we pretend there’s nothing wrong. We are sick and broken, but we pretend to be whole.
Ezekiel 43:10–11 teaches that shame is good if it leads to repentance. If shame condemns us, though, and drives us away from Calvary, it’s not good. God told Ezekiel to show “the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities. And if they be ashamed of all that they have done,” give them a chance to get it right.
Being ashamed doesn’t just mean feeling guilty for our sin. That’s conviction. Shame is different. It includes a level of humiliation and disgrace. And while the humiliation and disgrace are not always publicly known, they may need to be in order for us to move on in a healthy way.
The first war we must win is against our own flesh. It’s a battle between God’s will and self-will, and only one side can win. I’m not suggesting there aren’t demons to contend with. There are, and there might come a day when we have to fight a few. But first we need to confront the foes in our own house.
Shame and sin aren’t the issues; it’s our response to shame and sin that determines our ability to get victory.
[I]t’s our response to shame and sin that determines our ability to get victory.
The darkness of Egypt has left its mark on us. When we came through the church doors and into the light, we were confronted with our sin. Back in the darkness, our “friends” had egged us on, and our shameful acts were celebrated. “You go, girl!” or “Attaboy!” But when we came out of darkness and into the light, we felt shame.
Some of you know what I’m talking about. You remember where you came from. You remember how hard it was to even look a church member in the eye. Remember that the enemy comes when you’re in a slump. In those moments, it’s hard to find the mind of God. In the heat of the battle, we can’t trust the voices from Egypt. If we listen to those voices, we shouldn’t be surprised when we end up having to regain territory we’ve already sacrificed so much for.
The enemy’s goal is to get us to doubt God’s still, small voice. . . . When we feel the warfare between flesh and spirit raging, don’t do anything. In those moments, stand and wait. Pray through. Get your weapons out. They still work.
Don’t give in to the enemy’s high-pressure sales tactics: “Today only! While supplies last!” If what he’s selling is so great, let him have it. If it’s gone tomorrow, so what? That only means it wasn’t for you in the first place.Don’t give in to the enemy’s high-pressure sales tactics: “Today only! While supplies last!” If what he’s selling is so great, let him have it. If it’s gone tomorrow, so what? Click To Tweet
Tina Royer works alongside her husband as he pastors a church in the Sacramento area. In addition to her work for the church, she teaches English in California Community College system and at Christian Life College in Stockton, California.