// Now you’re making me like you. Clothing me in white. Bringing beauty from ashes. For You will have Your bride. Free of all her guilt and rid of all her shame. // 

Ever Be: Kalley Heiligenthal

You’re free to make mistakes, but you need Godly accountability to raise up the standard.

          It’s been a process trying to figure out what to talk about for the first topic. What was God speaking in this moment? I began to think what is hindering me from writing? Why can’t I move “forward” with this. Then it hit me! I opened my eyes, it was right there. I needed a sign from God, “forward.” What can plague most people from moving forward? Guilt, and shame! Not only can these duo keep you from moving forward, it will use people. This includes other people talking, judging, and criticizing about things we’ve done in the past. This unfortunately includes ourselves, and discrediting how far we’ve actually come. I remember the saying, “we are our own worst critics.” So this is where we begin, busting out the lie of guilt and shame.

         I want to talk about the Road to the Palace. Many know the story, but as a recap. We begin reading about the sons of Jacob back in Genesis 35:23-26. We read about women and the children they bore. Among the batch we read about Leah and Rachel, to further investigate we begin to look up their foundation back in Genesis 29. To sum it up real fast there were two daughters of Laban, Leah and Rachel. Jacob fell in love with Rachel, he was later tricked into marrying Leah. Jacob ended up walking away with both women, a lot of animals, and some money. Leah bore many children, but Rachel was barren for a season. Jump to Genesis 37. We read about favoritism shown towards Joseph, which with the given past of Jacob’s love for Rachel this child was not only a miracle but a product of his true love for Rachel. Thus Joseph found a special place in Jacob’s heart above the rest of his brothers. This made the brothers of Joseph angry and filled with envy. Here I want to pause a shine light on verse Genesis 37:8, //”Shall you indeed reign over us? Or shall you indeed have dominion over us?” (NKJV.)// This here in the scripture is the beginning of shame & guilt roots forming. Imagine for a moment how Joseph was feeling. He has just received this dream and hoping it would help his relationship with his brothers who hate him. “Let me share with you, all I have to give.” It’s like when you first make a friend, you open up or share something you have or know in order to receive a connection. Joseph had to share this dream in hopes of opening a friendship with his brothers. Now, his brothers now call him out shaming Joseph, “who do you think you are?” mentality. As for Joseph, guilt set in. “What did I do wrong?” “I was only trying to help.” “I just want you to like me.”

          Before we move forward, let’s define shame and guilt…

  • Simple Definition of shame
    : a feeling of guilt, regret, or sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong
    : ability to feel guilt, regret, or embarrassment
    : dishonor or disgrace
  • Full Definition of shame
    a : a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety
  • Simple Definition of guilt
    : responsibility for a crime or for doing something bad or wrong
    : a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong
  • Full Definition of guilt
    a : the state of one who has committed an offense especially consciously
    b : feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary

          Let’s highlight these statements: painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, sadness that you have because you know you have done something wrong, a bad feeling caused by knowing or thinking that you have done something bad or wrong, a sense of inadequacy. Because of the shame Joseph’s brother put on him, it left room for guilt to set in for Joseph. As we move along, the spirit of offense the brothers carried sent them down a road of evil. It caused their thinking to shift into hate and even death. Genesis 37:20 shows us just that. Reuben, the oldest, came to the rescue. He tried to show a form of accountability. However, he was just as tainted as the brothers. His root of hurt left room for bitterness to sweep in. What if Reuben had been rooted in the word of his ancestors, Jehovah, the God of the universe? So often we go to people who make us feel better about our situation without ever helping or changing the circumstance. We tend to go get a band-aid for a wound that needs stitches. A quick fix. We want to be in the right about our situation. Godly counsel is not that, it is so much better. Accountability comes in when you are wrong and your eyes need to be set upon the truth of what God says. You have to be teachable, there is no room for pride. Remember in my introduction blog I mentioned cutting? This is where that comes in, your God driven accountability is there not to please your flesh but rather guide your spirit into truth. Somethings you can’t get over by yourself, and these people come in as a safe guard to help your relationship with God grow. Beware there are people whom say they know the word of God, but choose to live a life that pleases their own flesh. But just because these accountability friends are able to speak in your life, you should always take it to God after seeking their counsel. It’s called testing the spirit. While yes their wisdom maybe spot on, the last word is always God’s. We are human and make mistakes too, so it just counter checks any flesh. Accountability groups and partners are more than just people who tell you “no,” they are your family whom want to see you prosper and grow in the Lord to the fullest. They are there for the small moments that lead up to your greatest victories, as well as there to catch you when you make your biggest mistakes. You do life together!! I can’t tell you how many times my accountability group or partners have held me high when I couldn’t do it myself. Then the times they had to cut in order for me to see the light. It’s all about trust and vulnerability. But that’s for another topic. Yes, sometimes it’s going to hurt. You may even become offended. Let the show you the word, and go to 2-3 people of valor and of the word. Sometimes offense is a sign our flesh is hurting, but our spirit is yearning.

          Accountability is also there to slap some sense into you, Genesis 39:10 begins to show us when some accountability was needed to get eyes off the flesh and on the Lord. From slavery to moving on up to the east side, Joseph began to show the favor that was on his life. Satan knows your potential and who you are called to be. Distractions are the game, and the tactics are the same. After the situation with Potiphar’s wife, Joseph went from the penthouse to the dog house also known as the jail house. Remember that guilt and shame roots? When things aren’t dealt with it festers. Just like a raw egg not found during an Easter egg hunt, it spoils and rots inside out. Same can be said about holding on to unforgiveness and bitterness. Once again Joseph moves on up back to the big house in the sky, the top of the top, Pharaoh’s palace as chief and sargent over the harvest. While in the jail house Joseph activated his talents of dream interpretations and word got to the Pharaoh. Boom, bang, pow God’s favor never left. Now I can already hear the question, “if Joseph is this rotting egg so to speak, how can God use him? Even more so, if I’m dealing with this, why would God use me?” Those are good questions, and the answer is so simple we make it hard, God’s love is boundless. It stretches the way we think because our love comes with conditions. If you do this then I will do this, but that’s not God. His love is I do this just because. Even if we are in lack, doesn’t mean God will lack out on us. Joseph had a promise via the dreams given back in Genesis 37, so no matter what God’s provision has to pull through. Even when we are faithless to see the works of God, He is ALWAYS faithful.

          So time to take a age count, Joseph’s adventure began when he was 17 years old. He is now before Pharaoh at age 30. With 9 years of service before the family reunion, 7 years of plenty with 2 years of famine so far. So for about 22 years give or take Joseph began rotting inside with anger and hate. That guilt transformed; it was being fed. So Genesis 40 begins to tell the story of the most awkward family reunion. I can hear it now in Joseph’s head “let’s get ready to rumble!” You think your family reunions are bad, think about a 22 year-ish secret held back from your father and only you and your brothers know the truth. No one fesses up. You are shipped out to the wilderness, while you brothers live life freely. Joseph played revenge taker well. With his brothers thinking him best off dead or a slave in the wilderness, Joseph got to toy with them. Was Joseph in the right? No, but he is human and makes mistakes too. But he will soon be corrected of his actions. After picking on them and basically making them all cry uncle, the guilt and shame is lifted. What do you ask can remove these things? No, it wasn’t revenge. That actually made it worse. It only added fuel to the fire. It was forgiveness.

        Genesis 45:3 opens with //I am Joseph. (NKJV)// The reveal of truth comes forward, and it continues on with I’m sorry forgive me. After the proverbial “cat’s out of the bag,” room for forgiveness came forth. You see God had always planned for Joseph to be a deliverer of his house hold. He knew the land was coming to the 7 years of plenty and 7 years of lack 13 years before it would take place when Joseph was 17. You could also say 30 years before Joseph was even born there was a mission and plan for him to carry out for God. He chose Joseph despite his lack of wisdom to move in humility and excellence with his gifting. Regardless God moved and made a way for His promise to be fulfilled. The brother knew not and acted in the flesh, without seeking God or counsel. Leaving room for the enemy to speak death to God’s work with twisting of words and thoughts. Joseph needed to understand how to trust God with all he had. He needed to ask those hard questions of God to receive wisdom and revelation on how to act and respond with his giftings. Forgiveness came to the whole family. Joseph had a “come to Jesus” moment to recieve wisdom and revelation on his gifting. He matured and saw the “rotting” self. That’s where I believe he couldn’t carry out the actions towards his brother Benjamin or the rest of them. He had a moment where he realized forgiveness needed to be done on his part for making them feel less than who they were. The vicious cycle of hurt goes around and around until someone steps up to stop it. The brothers had 22 years of living with the knowledge they had sold their brother, broke the heart of their father, and could never speak about it for fear of someone finding out. Imagine that burden they carried. At the time is was all peaches and cream. “We got rid of that know it all,” but the actions that followed when Jacob found out. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard your parent or someone in a authoritative figure role has ever cried in pain, what that feeling is like. Now imagine you’re the cause of that pain, but you’re too afraid to ever speak up. When Joseph forgave them, it left room for them to ask forgiveness of themselves. In return their guilt was broken.

         Forgiveness is there to help you. The people in your life that have done you wrong some way, some how. They are more than likely living life to the fullest, not giving you a second thought. While you fester like that egg inside out, wasting away in hate or bitterness. Living with an offense, it’s time to release. Release to get your peace!! You owe it to yourself. It doesn’t make the action or the words true or right. Look at Joseph, the forgiving of his brothers did not make selling him right, but it made a place to start new. Even with your situation it’s up to you to make room to reconnect. It’s your choice. Sometimes you won’t and it’s ok, but we are seeking that freedom for you! Forgiving yourself is another hard road. We do so much to ourself. Those choices, we can often blame ourself for ending up the way we have or how we’ve come the situation we have. It’s okay to forgive yourself and love yourself. You are human and make mistakes. It’s up to you to get back up and keep fighting the good fight for God. If you’re dwelling on yourself, you can’t see the road ahead. I love this saying; God has delivered you from the pit, look up or you will fall back into another. Watch where you’re going. The rear view mirror is just for quick glances, not for a lasting reflection. If this has touched you and you are carrying something, let it go. I’ll post a prayer of forgiveness. It’s not an exact, seek counsel if you feel you’re dealing with something beyond what you can understand or handle. The prayer gives you a starting place to continue prayer, even after you say “amen” continue on talking with God. Keep on going, keep on growing. Keep moving forward. 

          So now let’s do a recap. Shame says, I am bad. Guilt says, I did something bad. Now if you truly committed a wrong doing these aren’t lies, they are red flags. Red flags help you stay in check. They become lies when you can’t get over them after the fact or repentance or forgiveness. If you are unsure which one these are playing in your life, we are going to fall back on our Godly accountability groups or partners. Let them see what we can’t, then after talk to God. His word over everything. Read your word, live a life of prayer. It’s not always as bad as you think, sometimes when you release things begin to shift. Who knows this may unlock your breakthrough? Shifting you into that palace, a promise of God being fulfilled. Blessings, beloved. Until next time.

          //God, show me where I may be carrying offense against someone or myself. Let me see you in the situation. I give the circumstance up to you, it’s too much for me to carry. Take it Jesus, it is your’s. I forgive_____ for the action or words I/they have committed against myself, friends, family or anyone else. Release me/them of any guilt or shame. Release me/them of any other negative emotion that is not of you, Father. Come Holy Spirit, and fill me a fresh with your comfort, your peace, your restoration. I am meant to live free, I am free. Your blood shed on the cross covers me, my family, my friends, and every stranger. We seal it with the power of the resurrection, you rose again and are coming back. Let me be found blameless. In Jesus’ name I pray. Thank you for moving on my behalf. You have never left me, all glory goes to you.