The Only Cure For Shame

Tim Chevalier reposted this Tumblr post from Peter Brunton, which has been rattling around inside my head for a few weeks. It makes me really sad, because Peter says he grew up in a “genuinely loving, caring, utterly wonderful” church, but it seems like they didn’t tell him (or he didn’t hear) how to deal with the shame that he rightly felt. I say rightly, because the Bible tells us that sexual sin should cause us to feel shame (Romans 1:26-27). The key piece that’s missing is that the right way to deal with this is not to hide or deny the shame, but to repent and believe the gospel.

The same book of Romans which calls sexual sin shameful tells us:

As it is written: ‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in Him will never be put to shame.’

Trusting in Christ leads us to not have to feel ashamed any more. And in Hebrews 12 we read:

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

The victory won by Jesus at the cross deals with our shame just as it dealt with the supposed shamefulness of what happened to him. Whatever we may have done, he wipes the slate clean, allowing us to throw off our sin and “run the race” of faith and obedience.

It is true that he calls people who are same-sex attracted to do something that is not easy, but if God truly works all things for our good (Romans 8:28) then following him is always by far our best choice. Our sexual preferences are not who we are – they don’t define us. If we are following Jesus, that is our identity, and it subsumes everything else. And if our church is truly loving and caring, its members will help us in that journey. I don’t know if Peter will ever read this, but I pray he will one day come to see that, as many others have.

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