Our past marks us. Those experiences go into making us the people we are. But some of those experiences we would rather forget. Guilt, shame, and regret can carve deep gashes in our souls—permanent reminders of another life we would prefer to leave behind. But God reminds us that He can free us from the unwanted narrative of past failures and sins. Through Christ, freedom is real and rewarding. And it’s possible for all who follow Him.

Discussion Questions

1. The subject of sin is part of the story of humanity. What is sin? What sins in your past are still a cloud over your head?

2. God dealt a death blow to sin through the death of Christ. Read John 1:29. How did Jesus take away your sin? Compare 2 Corinthians 5:19.

3. In the new covenant, God offers a new strategy for dealing with sin. Read Hebrews 8:12-13 and Romans 11:27. If God knows everything, in what sense does he “forget” your sins?

4. When you think of the word “shame,” what other similar words come to mind. What does shame feel like? When have you most recently felt shame?

5. We might also describe shame as “the feeling of not being enough.” Why is this feeling particularly destructive? When have you experienced the feeling of not being enough?

6. Shame is first mentioned in the earliest description of the first man and woman’s connection with each other and with God. Read Genesis 2:25. Why do you think being “unashamed” is mentioned here?

Further Reading

Kindness Toward Ourselves

There is often enormous pressure to keep up with the non-stop noise and activity of our modern world. Jesus offers us an alternative to this frantic pace but following Him and resisting the pressure around us will require a simple act: kindness toward ourselves. Is...

Simple Unplugging

Our immediate access to people and information through the use of technology has become a prevailing cultural norm. What has become the normal daily consumption of input can have a numbing effect on our soul and lead to our faith gradually growing thinner and thinner...

Drinking Beauty

God paints on a large canvas. His creativity is seen in the grandeur of the mountains, in the wildflowers on a rolling hillside, in classic masterpieces in an art gallery, or in the curious expression on the face of a child. Beauty is all around us. But seeing it...

Pausing to Detach

So much about the pace of life conspires against us. We might even be convinced that the faster we go and the busier we become, the more we’ll get done. But what does that kind of toxicity do to our souls? Could it be that God invites us to find Him through a...

Never Give Up

Resilience is such a powerful concept. Some of our greatest heroes and inspirational characters in stories are defined as people of resilience. But what does it look like to have a resilient faith? Spoiler alert... it doesn't mean that things are always going to go...