Proverbs 13:18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuses instruction: but he that regards reproof shall be honoured.
We have all known the unsettling sensation of guilt and shame when we know we've done something wrong. But, oh, the blessing of the Lord's forgiveness through the blood of Christ that takes away our sins and the resulting shame that plagued our lives. When you think of it, what an amazing power the blood has to be able to bring real peace and joy to a once heavy heart because of sin.
There is nothing that can be compared to God's awesome power, ability and willingness to clear and clean a shame-ridden conscience from the guilt of a heavy heart. God asks us to choose His life-giving gift. He leaves it up to us whether we will have a clear conscience or carry the burden of shame. Deut. 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.
Guilt and shame can paralyze a person's spirit to the point of giving up on life. Judas Iscariot, who had betrayed Jesus, tried to turn things around after he realized what he had done to the Lord. Matt. 27:3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. Here is the irony for Judas. He went to the priest of the day to try to reverse the cause of his sin but there was no real help for him. The priests were not interested in the soul of a sinner, unlike the love that Christ has for the sinner. The priests were only interested in the perks of the office of the priesthood. Judas looked for the forgiveness of sin and the removal of the guilt it caused but there was no redemption found in his present system. Matt. 27:4 “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”
Ouch! What an answer from the spiritual leaders of the day. The detrimental action that Judas took was the result of the deep and overwhelming depression, guilt and shame that resulted from the sin. Matt. 27:5 So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The Proverb says that poverty and shame shall be to him that refuses instruction. Life is hard enough without being in a state of poverty. However, when poverty and shame is of our own doing it can truly be remorseful. Thank God there is grace and a way out of a shameful and poverty-stricken situation. The word of God says Prov. 19:20 Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.
When you have wisdom because you submitted to God's instruction, you will come out of poverty and the shame of the past events will be lifted from your soul because you will be walking with the Lord who is your wisdom and the Savior of your soul. Why is it so important to come out from under the bondage of guilt and shame? It sets us free to believe the restoration power of God in our lives. When we are delivered from guilt and shame through the blood of Jesus Christ, it positions us to live our lives in a place of receiving the blessing of the Lord. Restoration becomes one of our blessings.
God said He would restore our health. Jer. 30:17a For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD. The word of God also says that God would restore our soul. Psalm 23:3 He restores my soul: he leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. With joy, the Lord will restore what was stolen from us over the years of our life. Joel 2:25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
Oh, yes Lord, deliver us from shame and guilt that we may walk in the abundant favor that you have for each one of us who loves you and delight in your love for us. Teach us, Lord God, to love your instruction and respond to it when we hear it. Help us to be Christians of honor. Amen!