Home > Believe > Distance – From My Past – 4/19/20

Nicknames can be born out of affection or out of spite. Some nicknames come and go, but others stick, and even as adults we may bear a label given to us in childhood. Whatever we carry with us from the past marks us in some way. Sadly, many people drag guilt and shame and spend a lifetime trying to forget a past that haunts them. In his book Guilt, Where Psychology and Religion Meet, Dr. David Belgum estimates that 75% of physical illness is rooted in emotional problems. Attempts to hide and run from guilt is toxic. Satan loves to continually bring our faults and failures before us in order to hold us in defeat. As Jesus said in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” If Satan has you in the dirt, you don’t have to stay there. Jesus died so that you can live life abundantly. When you turn over your guilt and shame to him, his grace will silence the accusations, and help you reclaim your true identity in Jesus Christ.

Ps 32:3-5, 51:3-4, 6, 103:11-12; Mi 7:19; Jn 10:10; Ro 8:1, 12:2; 2 Co 5:17; 1 Jn 1:9; Re 12:10

When I kept quiet about my sin, my bones wasted away from crying all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me. My strength was dried up as in the hot summer. I told my sin to You. I did not hide my wrong-doing. I said, “I will tell my sins to the Lord.” And You forgave the guilt of my sin.” (Ps 32 3-5) I know about my sins, and I cannot forget my terrible guilt. You are really the one I have sinned against; I have disobeyed you and have done wrong. (Ps 51: 3-4) And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places; you teach me wisdom in the most secret space. (Ps 51:6)

Although David was chosen by God to be King of Israel, he was flawed, as are we. David lusted after another man’s wife (Bathsheba), had an affair with her, resulting in pregnancy. Trapped in the mess he created, David called Bathsheba’s husband (Uriah) home from the battlefield hoping that Uriah would be reunited with his wife and think the child was his own. However, Uriah was a man of principle and refused to indulge in the pleasures of home while his men were dying on the battlefield. So, David sent Uriah back to the front lines of battle and told the commander to have the rest of the troops fall back, leaving Uriah alone—a death sentence. David plotted Uriah’s death in an attempt to cover his sin. But, as we all know, sin doesn’t cover well. As we read in the Psalms above, David was plagued with guilt, haunted by his sin and the cover-up was destroying him. It was not until he confessed his sins before God that he received forgiveness and was able to begin putting it behind him. Sin always comes with consequences. Forgiveness doesn’t wipe away the damage that’s been done, but it restores our relationship with God and gives us the peace and confidence we need to move ahead without the burden of our sin weighing us down. All we have to do is come before God and confess, be honest. He already knows the truth but he’s waiting for us to come clean.

Did you have any nicknames as a child? If so, what were they? How did they come about? Do you have any friends that still go by a nickname from childhood? How do they feel about their nickname? Have you ever tried to cover up something you did? How did it make you feel? What was the outcome? Have you ever been hurt by someone’s attempt to cover something up? Who has granted you the most forgiveness in your life (other than God)?

If you have unconfessed sin, it’s time to come clean. Ask for God’s forgiveness, then take whatever steps must be taken to make right what you’ve done, to whatever extent you can make amends.

Forgiving Father, I am continually in need of your mercy and grace. Thank you for your compassion, forgiveness and peace that comes from an honest relationship with you. Help me to come to you first so that Satan can’t use my sins to wage war on my heart, mind and soul. Thank you for the freedom I have in you! In Jesus Name I pray, amen.