When you introduce yourself to someone you tell them your name, maybe your occupation, or your relationship to someone they know. However, what you feel about yourself, who you believe you are deep inside is often something no other human being knows or understands. As children you may have been tagged with a nickname. It may be one that makes you feel special, even flattered or one that caused pain and left deep wounds. Things that happen to you through life can cause you to define yourself as a loser, invisible, or of no value. Guilt because of something you’ve done or something that was done to you may cause you shame, even if it’s not yours to bear. When guilt morphs into shame it changes how you see yourself. In Revelations 12:10, it tells us that Satan stands before God day and night to accuse believers. He’s determined to bring you down and convince you that that there’s no redemption for you. Jesus died on the cross to buy your pardon! God offers forgiveness, mercy and grace, but just because God says it, doesn’t mean you have to believe it or receive it. It is truth, but accepting that truth is up to you!
Scriptures – Psalm 32:3-5; Proverbs 28:13; Revelation 12:10; 1 John 1:9; Romans 8:1; Hebrews 10:17; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Proverbs 23:7; Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:16-17;
Verse – When I did not confess my sins, I was worn out from crying all day long. Day and night you punished me, Lord; my strength was completely drained, as moisture is dried up by the summer heat. Then I confessed my sins to you; I did not conceal my wrongdoings. I decided to confess them to you, and you forgave all my sins. (Psalm 32:3-5) “I’ll forever wipe the slate clean of their sins.” (Hebrews 10:17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17) Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:16-17)
Thought – When you accept Jesus and receive his forgiveness, the Bible says you are a new creation. The thing is, it may take a while to adapt to your new spiritual self! Your old thoughts, desires and responses don’t immediately leave. It takes practice. Just as regular physical exercise over time improves the strength and endurance of your body, renewing your mind take regular exercise over time. And what does that workout look like? Colossians 3:16-17 gives us a great starting point. Get God’s word into your mind, gain wisdom from your relationships with others of faith, worship, sing psalms and hymns of praise. Give thanks to God in all that you do. That’s the recipe. There are several ingredients, but as you add them into your life, your mind will change. You will begin to believe that who you are is who God says you are—a child of God, a new creation, loved, precious, valued, worthy and created on purpose for His purpose.
Questions – How do you typically introduce yourself? How does your introduction reflect how you want to be seen? Do you have a nickname, or did you ever have one? If so, how did it come into being? Did you like it or not? Did you grow up with a good self-image? Have you ever experienced shame? Can you share about that experience? Do you believe what God says about you?
Response – Each day renew your mind in at least one of the ways given in the Colossians passage above.
Prayer – Dear Lord, thank you for paying the price for my guilt and shame. Help me to grow into the new creation you have planned for me. Give me confidence in the love, value, and acceptance you have given me. In Jesus’ name I pray amen.