by Mark Karris

Guilt, Shame and Shalom
Mark Karris
2 Corinthians 7:8-10

All of us in this room have stories. We all have our unique experiences from our past, which have in essence, have shaped us into the people that we are today. We have had our blessings and blunders and our trials and our testimonies. We have some happy and memorable moments and we have those painful and sometimes traumatic memories in which we desperately wish to forget. Our stories can be similar to the stories we read in the Bible. For even within our sacred text we read stories of pain, horror, betrayal, abuse, idolatry, murder, joy, miracles, blessings, love, sacrifice, etc. Our stories encompass the good, and well, not so good. Our stories can involve great joy as well as great pain. We all have a Story!!!!

Let me suggest to you that sometimes the "not so good" parts of our stories can leave us with large, heavy bags of guilt and shame that effect our relationships with God, self and others and keep us from the abundant life that has been promised to us in Jesus Christ. It is because of our past experiences that some of us might weigh 50, 75, 100 pounds more than we actually are, in our spirits. Because of some of the things that we have done, or things we think we should have done and because of some of the things that have been done to us, we carry around heavy, poisonous bags of shame and guilt that seep into all our relationships. And some of us do not even realize it.
There are many problems in the Christian life that relate to guilt. The discouraged, defeated Christian, the perpetual altar-goer who never feels secure in his or her Christian walk, the religious legalist who rigidly orders his or her own life and finds it easier to condemn others than to love them, the young highschool kid that is caught in a sexual addiction and the rebellious adolescent from a highly religious home have all been touched by guilt and shame.
Today I hope we can gain a little bit more clarity about g ...

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