When I first met Christine Caine, slack-jawed might be the only word? When you witness someone astonishingly gifted for such a time as this, there are no words. I’ve listened to her speak countless times, talked Jesus with her over dinners, late through the night and over early breakfasts and this woman is called like no other, and she is an unstoppable global igniter of a whole generation. The journey of truth, freedom, purpose, and destiny she has been on since childhood has been the greatest and most painful of her life, but as Christine says, “It’s been totally worth it!” Christine’s lived bound and she’s lived free, and she knows without a doubt which one she prefers and which one Jesus wants for you. It’s a deep & humbling grace to welcome a woman I so esteem and love to the farm’s front porch today to have her share what it looks like to sprint toward victory for the kingdom of Christ…
Our family recently went on a sugar fast and although my girls were not happy about it they knew that if they wanted sugar after the fast, then they would have to adhere to the rules.
One night, I heard this noise downstairs so I went into the kitchen and there is my refrigerator open and Sophia has her spoon stuck in the ice cream container.
Her mouth was covered with chocolate ice cream.
I gave her another chance to redeem herself, but man, she was stubborn and she stuck to her story. So I called my husband, Nick. He began to question her and she just crumbled, admitted her guilt, and started bawling her eyes out.
She lost her privileges for a few weeks, mostly because she didn’t tell the truth. But when she got to the point of saying, “You know, Mommy and Daddy, I’m so sorry, what I did was wrong,” she admitted her guilt, then she received her consequences and it was over.
She understood the difference between her who and her do.
She understood that what she did was wrong, telling a lie is wrong. But she didn’t internalize that to make her feel like she was wrong.
I never understood that, for many decades of my life. I spent most of the first half of my life feeling I was bad, that I was inadequate, that I was fundamentally unworthy of love.
I could not separate my who and my do.
And I didn’t only feel guilty about what I had done or the things that were being done to me, I felt fundamentally ashamed of the very person that I was.
I cannot remember one time in my life where I didn’t feel this way. Shame was a constant companion for me.
Maybe you felt like I did, that something you’ve done or something that has been done or said to you has made you fundamentally wrong.
Maybe you still feel like you’re flawed, the very foundation of who you are is broken.
If so, let me share some really good news with you.
God loves you!
God does not reject you!
God sees you as having infinite value and infinite worth.
Jesus Christ has borne your shame so that you no longer need to carry the burden of shame. Jesus wants to heal you and not to shame you.
It is my heart that you are going to come out of hiding and that you are going to experience the tender, loving, merciful, and unconditional healing love of your heavenly Father. I know that I have, and I know the same Jesus that did it for me can do it for you.
Experience and observation have shown me that countless women of all ages on every continent that I’ve had the privilege to teach on have been schooled and shackled by shame.
A lot of times we feel such shame that we never recover from what we did because we cannot separate our who from our do.
But I want you to understand, there is no one like Jesus.
There is nothing else on the planet that can set you free like the blood of Jesus Christ.
Only Jesus Christ can give us forgiveness for our past—and here is the power of it—a brand new life today. He can move you past your past, because of His redemptive work on the cross of Calvary.
Therein lies the power of the gospel of Jesus. You can leave your guilt and your shame at the cross and you can move past your past.
You are not a shock to God. He knew what He was getting into when He chose you and me. You are the apple of His eye, the object of His affection.
I wonder if you believe that, because let me tell you, I didn’t. I didn’t believe that for years.
I had to get into the Word of God, renew my mind, and confess this Word until what I knew in my head to be true actually dropped the three inches down into my heart where I know that this is true.
Did you know that God created us to know no shame? Genesis 2:25 says that, “Adam and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.”
Can you imagine what it would be like to never, ever feel vulnerable? To be authentic, transparent, or completely you? Well, that was the relationship that Adam and Eve enjoyed with God before they knew shame. There was no hiding. Only pure, open, heartfelt transparent, authentic relationship.
The truth that very few of us, if any, have known what it feels like to have never felt a moment of shame in our life. Each of us bears a wound, a blemish, a secret, or some kind of scar from shame. Like me, you’ve probably spent years trying to cover up your shame wounds. So why would you want to uncover them now and look at them?
Well, here’s the reason: what we don’t reveal cannot be healed.
You see, our wounds need treatment and the only way they will ever be healed is if we acknowledge them, if we uncover them, and if we hold them up to the only one that can ultimately help us.
Believe me when I tell you that I know this is not easy.
It has taken me fifty years to write Unashamed and it’s curriculum, because I would say without a doubt that the greatest challenge I have had in my life is overcoming shame. But I do know that uncovering and exposing your wounds to the light and life of Christ does bring healing and deliverance and freedom.
God’s light is tender, not harsh. As you trust Him with your pain He will gently shine His healing light on all your wounds. He is for you, not against you. And He will never shame you or humiliate you. That kind of treatment is just not in His nature. He is good, He is merciful, and kind. He didn’t cause your pain or mine, but He is ready to help you through it.
Jesus paid for your guilt and He bore your shame. He carried it all to the cross, and here is the good news—He left it there.
Listen to what Isaiah 53, verses 4 to 5 say: “He bore our grief, sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses and shame. He carried our sorrows and pain. He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our guilt and inequities…With the stripes that wounded him we are healed and made whole.”
When Jesus emerged from that tomb, He was no longer clothed in the sin and shame of this world. Sin and its shame were left entombed, conquered, vanquished, paid for, redeemed by His blood’s sacrifice.
It is finished.
The blood of Jesus has healed you. The blood of Jesus has set you and me free. Honestly, I feel like jumping through this screen.
If I could sit face to face, grab you by the shoulders, look you in the eye and read one thing to you, it would be that over and over again until you got it.
Therein is the power of our freedom.
It lies in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
It is nailed.
It is hammered.
It is finished.
Christine Caine is a lover of Jesus, wife to Nick, and mum to Catie and Sophie. She travels the globe preaching, teaching, and advocating for justice. Powered by hot, extra-dry, skinny, cappuccinos, Christine is a lover of words who speaks too fast, talks too much, and writes it all down. She and her husband Nick founded A21, an anti-human trafficking organization that fights slavery around the globe. Christine has a heart for freeing captives, both physically and spiritually, but ultimately it comes back to her primary focus: building the Church.
In Unashamed, Christine Caine reveals the often-hidden consequences of shame—in her own life and the lives of so many Christian women—and invites you to join her in moving from a shame-filled to a shame-free life. Along with the book is a five-session video Bible study, where Christine weaves examples from her life with those of biblical characters who failed but overcame their shame to show how God heals us and redeems us. Perfect for individual or group study, the Unashamed Study Guide provides group discussion questions, video teaching notes, and prayers to accompany the Unashamed DVD Study, plus between-session personal study helps and journaling space for personal reflection. This book and study will help you learn, or relearn, how to define yourself by God’s truth, and your life will begin to take shape as it was designed to be. A life of freedom and strength.
[ Our thanks to Zondervan for their partnership in today’s devotion ]