SERIES BIG IDEA:
The truth of who we are in Jesus removes our toxic shame and gives us courage to be honest with God, ourselves, and each other.
TEACHING BIG IDEA:
I can be honest with God about my hang-ups, my hurts, and my destructive habits because I trust that He loves me.
Combating toxic shame begins with being secure in our relationship with God. We must know that God loves us, accepting us as we are regardless of our past. With that security firmly in place, we are free to be honest with God. Honesty is a reflection of our trust in God. We can’t be perfect before God. We can be honest with Him, knowing that He knows us more intimately than anyone. In light of 1 John 1:5-2:2, we bring things into the light by first confessing our hang-ups, our hurts, and our destructive habits to God. We are able to confess our pain and our doubts. Every sin that separates us from God can and should be confessed. When we turn toward Jesus, the true light, we can find life. Jesus promises to not only forgive but to purify us from “all unrighteousness.” Embracing total honesty before God can hurt, due to exposing what is true, but it also heals us, through the love and forgiveness of God through Jesus.
TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):
Have you ever been in a completely dark space? Share your experience. How did it make you feel? How did you feel when light was reintroduced?
Give examples of hang-ups, hurts, and destructive habits. Does everyone have one or more of these?
Define sin. How can sin be a dark space for us?
If God knows everything, why does He want us to confess our sins? What keeps people from confessing their sins to God? What keeps people from confessing their sins to others?
John (see 1 John 1:9) shares that when we confess our sins God is faithful and just and will forgive our sins. How can a just God do that? Doesn’t punishment have to happen for God to be just? Why?
Explain your own experience with the healing of God through confession of sin. How is Jesus the light?
Other Scriptures to Read:
- Isaiah 43:25
- Acts 3:19
- Isaiah 1:18
- 2 Corinthians 5:17