In the past and sometimes still I struggle with shame. No one likes to admit that they have made a mistake or “sinned.” But the other part I have struggled with is feeling shame when battling temptation. I may be tempted but fighting the temptation. To talk about the temptation just brings fear of rejection and guilt. This is a sad reality because when we hide our temptations and do not talk with others about our struggles it just grows into a bigger monster. On the other hand, sharing our struggles and temptations lightens the burden.
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:12-15
When I was younger I never shared my struggles with temptation because I did not feel like I had a safe place to do it. When I got older I was hurt by fellow Christians who I trusted when I shared a temptation/struggles and they did not keep my confidence. Furthermore they did not help me rather shamed and rejected me. I later found other, safer, avenues for sharing my struggles/temptations with doctors and counselors. Similarly, God has now gifted me with friends that I feel like I can share anything.
We are all tempted. Some of us are more aware than others of our temptations. Some of us are better at fighting our temptations. These temptations only grow into bigger monsters when we hide them and do not seek counsel. That being said not every person in your life is someone safe to seek counsel.
So to those who find themselves battling temptation, may God point you in the direction of someone who can be a safe place to share your struggles. May there be no shame or guilt for bringing your monsters out of the closet because we all have them. For those who have tried to share there monsters and been hurt I pray for healing and that God would give you a heart to trust again. And to all may we be a church that welcomes sharing and never shames, guilts or judges someone who is brave enough to show you their monsters. Amen