Your Past is Robbing You of Your Future

Focusing on your past robs you of the joy of today and the hope of tomorrow.  Many people never let go of the past. For some, the shame and regret of former sins keeps them chained to condemnation. For others, the good ole days (or their own glory days) keeps them looking back. Either way, many people can’t enjoy their lives because they are not fully “present.” There is a reason that your vehicle’s windshield is so much larger than its rear view mirror. Seeing where you are and where you are going is… Read More

Joy on the Other Side of Sorrow

There is kind of joy only found on the other side of sorrow. It is a deep, satisfying, enriching joy that only comes to those willing to muddle through the mire of sorrow.  Too often we avoid grief. We run from sorrow. We fill the emptiness with busyness. We drown out the silence with noise. We drink, smoke, medicate ourselves, or eat as an escape. We’re constantly running, but from what? The people of Israel lived that way for years. They had run from God – He was too strict. Year after… Read More

Overcoming Regret

There’s no grief like the kind which is mingled with regret.  How did things get to a point in David’s life when his own son, Absalom, stole the hearts of the people and led a hostile rebellion to usurp the throne? The path that leads to such dysfunction is marked by poor decisions, bitterness, pride, and secret sin.  King David’s loyal followers took to his defense, pursued the rebels, and brought swift justice, killing  Absalom in the process.  It was a definitive and significant victory over a powerful enemy. But the king… Read More

Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness in a Culture of Shame

Shame may temporarily modify one’s actions, but it inevitably pushes people away from God. “You ought to be ashamed of yourself” is a phrase I have both heard and (I regret to say) said to others, including my own children. The truth is most people are already draped in a heavy, self-woven blanket of shame. Heaping more shame on an already weary soul leaves them demoralized and without hope. Jesus never left people without hope. What is the gospel if not the removal and lifting of the weight of shame? The most… Read More

No Longer Bound by Sin and Shame

Filled with shame, he regretted his decision to eat of the forbidden fruit. Then he heard the footsteps of God. Embarrassed and humiliated, she hung her head as her accusers publicly exposed her adulterous relationship. Then she heard the footsteps of Jesus. Our sins leave the residue of shame, humiliation, and regret. That’s what sin does – it lures us into momentary pleasure, but leaves us with a lifetime of pain. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In the Old Testament, God had Moses build a tabernacle, which served to… Read More