In this third week of Sue Edwards’ study on 1 Peter, we come to this wonderful passage on our identity. I remember loving this passage a young Christian. Like Sue (as she notes in the book), I had been an unplanned, unwanted and wrong sex child who experienced a lot of shame and abuse as a child. That carried over into adulthood in more than a few coping mechanisms. When I became a Christian at age 28, I was shocked – yes, shocked – when I read 1 Peter 2:9-10. I knew I had been called out of darkness into his marvelous light. The transformation in my life demonstrated that. But those titles: chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, a people for his own possession…. What in the world? How did those relate to me, a throw-away? My life was saturated to the core with shame, and unfortunately, that didn’t go away immediately even though verse 6 reminded me that was no longer my identity.

It took many years of growing and healing before those verses really sank in. And healing didn’t come easily. It took a blessed combination of marriage and a child, therapy, prayer ministry, deliverance, and a lot of applying Scripture literally before I could break out of the identity I had been born and raised in. Could it have happened more quickly? Maybe. But one of the verses I learned to love and hate is Deuteronomy 7:22. I’ve found in my own life and in the lives of the many people I’ve ministered to, that healing is best when it’s progressive. Yes, we all want to experience a miracle healing, just like we all want to win the lottery. But we know what happens to those who win the lottery. Most are broke within a year. And I’ve seen the same thing happen when a very wounded person experiences a huge deliverance. They’re free for a while, but since they don’t know how to change their thinking, it isn’t long before they are right back where they started. Deep healing takes a little longer, but is ever so much more lasting.

But I digress. I was struck by verse 6 (will not be put to shame) in relation to verse 9 (an amazing identity—chosen, royal, priest, His possession). How do we enter into that identity? One lesson that has helped me tremendously is understanding the difference between true moral guilt and shame. True moral guilt is related to what I do. I sin, make a mistake, behave badly. True moral guilt is easily resolved by repentance and the forgiveness of the cross. Once forgiven, it’s gone. But shame is related to who I am. It’s often a by-product of guilt, introduced by the enemy to an unsuspecting, unprepared person. Getting rid of shame is often harder because it requires a new mindset. Remember last week’s lesson? I have to gird up the loins of my mind and deliberately bring every though into agreement with the Truth of Jesus. I have to deliberately take on the new identity. I have to agree with the Truth God gives me and reject the lies that Satan gives me. In dealing with shame, it seems that more of the responsibility falls on me.

So as you read the passage for this week, consider these questions and share your thoughts with us .

What does Peter mean when he says we will never be put to shame? Is that true for you, or do you need to do some work on guilt vs. shame?

In verse 9, Peter is making reference to the special position the nation of Israel has enjoyed. From your knowledge of the Old Testament, discuss how this identity has been extended from the chosen nation of Israel to the chosen person of you.

How will this understanding change the way you live this week?



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1 Comment so far

  1. Elle on January 27, 2012 2:44 pm

    It’s a great reminder to be chosen! That there is no shame! We are chosen!

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