When I find myself struggling with same sex attraction and the sin it creates, I can easily get stuck in guilt and shame. In Romans 7:24, Paul uses the word “wretched” to describe himself as the result of the sin in his life. I can relate to that word as I believe it accurately describes how I feel when I really take a serious look at the sin of my heart; especially in relation to same sex attraction. I was thinking that? My mind was burning with lust for that person? Brutal, honest, truth. They are examples of that “truth that hurts” which I wrote about earlier this week. When that realization and conviction hits it can lead to that pit of guilt and shame. I lived in that pit for years. However as my faith journey continued, God was repeatedly reminding me of the truth of forgiveness. While I was living in self-condemnation and hate, God was imploring me and continues to implore me to remember the Truth. As Romans 7 continues the question is posed by Paul- who will rescue me from this? “thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord”. By the prompting of the Holy Spirt, His truth is in me and reminds me that as part of being in Christ, He calls me to be honest with myself and with Him. 1 John 1: 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In addition, Paul follows up his remarks from Romans 7 to the start of Romans 8 with a reinforcement of this truth: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. This is a truth that I have to remind myself often. There is power in this Truth and it works to transform my mind and heart. I can and you can get out of the pit of guilt & shame to truly live!
What an encouragement this truth is. We are not condemned! I go about my days striving to be more like Christ, to be a man of integrity and purity more and more; yet fail. Sometimes I fail miserably and feel hypocritical. His forgiveness rescues me from that pit of guilt and shame. He can rescue you too!
Rescued by Him, ~Stan