Cycle of repentance vs. cycle of shame

In our pilgrim group we have been talking about God’s sovereignty and how he has sovereignty over nature, nations, creation, man, and Satan. We were asked the question: which part of god’s sovereignty made us uncomfortable and which part gave us comfort? I said that God’s sovereignty over Satan made me uncomfortable because that means that sometimes God is allowing Satan to mess with me or mess with my people and that makes me upset. 

I ended up doing the hot seat that night, as well, about a seemingly unrelated issue. About my mouth and how I’m trying to pursue healing from saying things out of fear or responsibility, but rather wait and say things out of vulnerability and love. My event was a situation where I said something out of my sin and we probed deeper into my false beliefs and what Jesus was actually calling me to. 

I was encouraged to imagine what repentance looked like with this person I had sinned against and I felt resistant to go there. On the way home, I was praying and trying to see if there was any shame lurking in my heart for what I did….and it hit me: God has sovereignty over man and therefore God was sovereignty in that moment and the sin that transpired. I could have just as easily not remembered the problem I had with this person. The conversation could have steered away from careless talk and into something serious. There are so many possibilities that could have happened, but it didn’t go that way I said something out of my sin instead. So it felt like God was saying “do you believe in my sovereignty here, too?” And I tasted with my mind what it would feel like to believe that. It tasted like freedom….it tasted like peace…instead of feeling any shame at all I felt trust for the master of the universe and love. “This is not an excuse for your sin” He gently reminded me…”I may have used it for my purpose in pruning another one of my children, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want you to also be pruned.” 

And actually this sin, taken in repentance to the hot seat, is already producing a harvest of healing in my false beliefs, and a deeper love and trust of God’s sovereignty. So shame doesn’t even have a place to root in at all. Again, I’m not trying to make an excuse for my sin or act like it doesn’t matter, but I actually think my inability to fix what’s broken inside me is what makes me want to cling to Jesus and look at the places in my life that need healing even more…it’s the cycle of repentance. Instead of the cycle of shame, which Satan offers us in response to our sin. 

Anyway, it all seemed so profound and I was shocked at the feeling of genuine love and sistership I felt toward this person I had sinned against. That not 10 minutes earlier I stilled felt hard hearted toward. Then another realization hit me. If God is sovereign over my sin and I can trust that He is accomplishing His good work in me and in those around me, then can I trust God’s sovereignty over the Father of Sin himself, Satan? I realized I had to….if God’s sovereignty over my sin can bring discipline and therefore new life, then God’s sovereignty over the Satan and whatever he is allowed to do, also is bringing about discipline and new life too. 

Wow, what a relief I felt to be able to trust God with that. Even these issues that are so complicated and confusing can be boiled down to trust in God and a knowledge that He is the one who is truly in control of everything and we don’t need to be afraid. Thanks, Jesus for my time last night and the revelations you gave me  and the new ways I can walk in freedom and healing and be closer to you. I love you.


  1. I love this. Thank you for sharing and for your vulnerable teachable heart.

  2. Wow, thank you Danielle for letting us into a moment of transformation in your life.

  3. Rod

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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