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16
Oct
2022

I believed unconsciously for a long time, even as I went to church and served God vocationally, that His grace applied to others but somehow I was too far gone. His grace didn’t apply to me. My addiction to alcohol and distorted internal belief and value system only magnified this untrue belief. I felt that I was not worthy enough to receive this grace that God offers.

Grace is unmerited favor, which means that we don’t deserve it and there is nothing we can do to earn it. It is freely given to us. It is ours because God so loved us that He gave His one and only Son that we may be forgiven of our sins and have eternal life (John 3:16).

Grace is difficult to accept even for the most professional and seasoned Christians because we have difficulty wrapping our minds around the notion of such unconditional love and acceptance. What a massive love God has that He would give up His only Son to die a horrific, humiliating, and painful death so we could be forgiven of our sin nature as human beings. The hymn “Amazing Grace” is sung in churches around the world. It speaks to how the amazing grace of God can relieve our hearts from fear. Fear of what? Fear of disconnection from God. Fear that we are not enough, which is the essence of shame.

Having questions and doubts is a perfectly normal part of our spiritual journey and discovery. Jesus treated people who had doubts with compassion and valued their questions, as described in countless ways throughout the Bible. He didn’t hesitate to show His own humanity by sharing His emotion of sadness as He wept when Lazarus died. Jesus asked God to take the circumstances of His crucifixion away because He feared the pain of what was to come in His suffering on the cross. Yet after He prayed, cried, and sought God, He surrendered His will to the will of God, which meant dying for the sins of mankind. Jesus cried out to God before He was crucified. He experienced peace and the grace necessary to carry out His assignment. That grace saved mankind by ensuring our everlasting connection with God. Jesus values and can handle our questions and doubts. He has compassion for us as we process them.

When we surrender to God’s grace, as Jesus did, deciding to turn our will over to Him and His care, we can accept all the grace and forgiveness He has to offer. Why do we resist submitting to the authority of a God who loves us? Just like Adam and Eve in the garden, fear and shame hinder our capacity to trust God, to believe that His ways are better for us. Thankfully, God is love, and in His love, God gave humans the power of choice. We have free will. We get to choose to believe in God or not. We get to choose to surrender to our will and desires (which much of the time doesn’t work out so well for us), or we can decide to choose to surrender to the safety found in God’s will and plan for us that is always good (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 12:2).

Irene Rollins shares more this Wednesday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from Reframe Your Shame by Irene Rollins. Copyright ©2022 Irene Rollins. Published by W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.