chapter 18 (Sample chapter)
IDENTITY OR THE PAST?
At several points in this course you have already encountered the topic of shame. I believe it is so essential that we fight shame that we have dedicated an entire chapter to this topic.
Shame is the enemy of every woman.
Shame is the enemy of every woman. It is so easy to accept shame and thereby not come into the fullness of what God has prepared for you.
He sees you as a marvelous, pure, appointed queen and warrior. It is time to break free from shame. You have already done an important building block by opening up and allowing a trustworthy accountability partner to know intimate things about your life.
The devil can only shame where we allow isolation and where we believe the lies he tries to tell us.
I hope that by this point there has been a lot of freedom with you during the past few chapters.
In this chapter, we want to put an end to shame once and for all and take big steps toward freedom. Read with me Acts 28:3-6
“As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.”
Paul was stranded as a prisoner on the island of Malta. The first thing he does is serve the others and wants to make a fire. But in the process, due to the heat, a snake comes out and bites him on the hand. At first, the reaction of the villagers appears to be panic. As they have just witnessed Paul being shipwrecked, and he is now also being bitten by a snake. Due to these chain of “unfortunate” circumstances, they suspect that he must be a murderer and that the gods want to punish him.
But let us take a closer look. Paul was indeed a murderer. Before he had found Jesus or Jesus had revealed Himself to him. He had persecuted Christians to death with a clear conscience, with the goal of eradicating the church of Christ. (Acts 9:1-2) It is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible how Paul dealt with this burden after his conversion, but his reaction in Acts 28 gives clear indications that he understood what grace is and who he is now in Jesus.
In the first place, the devil will never try to shame us with things we don’t care about. Things to which we have no relation or even about which we feel no shame. He wants to steal freedom from you and me. And comes to rob us. He wants to tell you time and again where you have made mistakes. Where you are ‘supposedly’ still unclean.
[In the course you have the possibility to answer this question]
What is Paul’s reaction to being told he is a murderer? What is his reaction to the snake bite?
Identity. Freedom. calling.