Yup, I Blew It

Dan Lovaglia, Camp Pastor, Camp Paradise | March 20, 2024

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:8-10

Shame was once my constant companion because I believed it would help me become a better person. I would obsess over my mistakes, trying to see what was wrong with me so I could fix it. I mean, if I get a speeding ticket, it’s not as bad as murder, right? Regardless of how we fall short, for the good of our hearts, we need to grow in saying, without shame, “Yup, I blew it.”

There is just no way around it. You and I mess up on a regular basis. Why? Because we’re human. And, when we choose to walk with God, it’s obvious we’re far from perfect next to Him. The idea that anyone, especially followers of Jesus, can do no wrong, and have done no wrong, is ridiculous. And that’s exactly what 1 John 1:8-10 is getting at. Yet even though I know God wants to purify my heart, and I desperately want that too, I still hide from the truth.

When we can’t admit, “Yup, I blew it,” our hearts get twisted in knots. When we ignore our guilt, the toxins build up, often to the point that we slip into shame. Counselor and author Gerald G. May, M.D. relays an important distinction about this in The Awakened Heart: Opening Yourself to the Love You Need. He says, “For every failure in my life, I feel either guilt or shame. Guilt says, ‘If only you had done better.’ Shame says, ‘If only you had been better.’” As dangerous as it is to pretend that we’re perfect, getting sucked into labeling ourselves as shameful beyond God’s loving grace and forgiveness is worse.

There may be guilt in sin, but there’s no shame in the truth. Choosing to confess, to say, “Yup, I blew it,” and ask God for forgiveness doesn’t just clear the air between us, it invites Him to fulfill His promise to clean our hearts. When God flushes our system with grace, you and I can walk forward in freedom without guilt and shame.

Next Steps

  • When is it hardest for you to admit, “Yup, I blew it,” and why?
  • How is feeling guilt different from feeling shame? Describe a time you felt one or the other, or both.
  • What sin are you hesitant to ask God to forgive and why? Share your struggle with a friend or small group leader who can pray with and for you (James 5:16).