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empty Posted January 2006
Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr. The Way Back From Shame
Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr.
The Cathedral International
Perth Amboy, New Jersey

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan said to David, “Now the LORD has put away your sin; you shall not die.” 2 Samuel 12:13 (NRSV)

But Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore the long robe that she was wearing; she put her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went. 2 Samuel 13:19 (NRSV)

I want to talk today from the subject “The Way Back from Shame.” This is one of the most frightening, troubling and loaded texts in the Bible. Our brother Amnon raping his sister Tamar. David’s dealing with another issue having a mid-life affair with his woman Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, a super sister whom he saw bathing while walking on the roof of the “King’s House” in Jerusalem.1 The Bible suggests to us that after David had obtained all the successes of life, he not only transgressed into adultery with Bathsheba but went on and set-up her husband Uriah the Hittite, his chief armor bearer.

It is true, David loved and respected Uriah. But because David wanted Uriah’s wife, David put Uriah on the front line of battle. You know the rest of the story. Uriah died in battle. Let me stop right here. Once you commit one sin, if you don’t get that thing right with God…you’ll have to cover up “that” sin with “another” sin and “another” sin and then a LIE!!! So, David tried to cover his sin of adultery with murder!!! Because sin, when it has been conceived, brings forth death!!!

I want to emphasize today that you don’t have to walk around in shame because of sin or an indiscretion that has occurred in your life. God is majoring in restoring and bringing people back into the fold!!! God is forgiving sin, having mercy and drawing people back into the ministry!!! Far too many of God’s people never come into their promise land or never come into their destiny because of shame.

Shame is defined as a painful sense of guilt or dishonor, or deep regret which causes disgrace, which ultimately brings about reproach. SHAME is a result of some sin or issue in the past that many of us had no control over. Nevertheless, it has caused us great shame, great disgrace and great sorrow.

There are some families that have walked in shame! Consider the family who has had to carry a mother or father drunk in the streets. Staggering and stammering with urine running down their leg. Part of the neighborhood crowd always pointing at your family saying, “YOUR mother is the town drunk.” “YOUR father…is the town drunk.” “I saw YOUR uncle and YOUR aunt on the corner talking and singing to themselves drunk…with urine running down their leg.”

The neighborhood mocked you, leaving you stained with a poor sense of self esteem. They looked at you and they laughed knowing that your drug addicted brother or sister was the town thief. Nobody wanted him or her to be around because they knew that as soon he or she came around something from the house was missing!

Or consider the member of the family who was known as easy, sexually promiscuous, the town whore, both male and female. You know who I’m referring to. The brother or sister struggling with sexual addiction. The one who was so easy that they layed with everyone. The one who was so easy that not only did they lay with the outside community but they layed with their own family!!!

Then there is the shame that comes from the result of being the victim of child abuse. Before the days of DYFUS, you tried to explain the bruises on your face, your back and on your arms. Harm was inflicted upon you because of a drunken and disconnected mother or father who beat you senseless and no one paid any attention to you at all!!!

There is the sin of being molested by your own father or uncle. No one in the family believed that you were telling the truth. Not one soul! Your own mother didn’t believe that you were telling the truth and like Tamar, you walked around with your hand on your head weeping out loud!

And finally, there is the shame that we feel because of our “OWN” sin! The mistakes that “WE” made!!! The stuff that “WE” did! “OUR” adultery!!! “OUR” infidelity!!! “OUR” cocaine!!! “OUR” downlow lover!!! “OUR” greedy fingers!!! OUR perversion!!! “OUR” addiction to pornography!!! And our “OWN” self-destructive behavior! You “KNEW” you shouldn’t have touched the money!!! You “KNEW” that you shouldn’t have cheated on your taxes!!! Some of us are like people who go into a room filled with good things only to walk out of the room of abundance into self-destruction!!! Listen. God is trying to bring us into a land of great promise but because of a generational issue, we keep destroying what God is trying to build in our lives!

Too many of us are walking around in shame. The shame of having to move from the nice house on the corner in the suburbs to the projects across town because your daddy left momma. Or, the shame of knowing that your daddy was not only “your” daddy but your cousin’s daddy and daddy to your best friend. People feel this kind of shame in all its forms. The love affair that wrecked their own home, being caught in embezzlement, the Sunday school teacher or the preacher, the pastor and your daughter, or the dirty FAMILY secret!!! The BIBLE is filled with it!! It’s filled with people who fell and sinned!!!

Listen. It is the desire of God to restore and recommission those who have fallen and to put you back on track for what you were intended to do, before the foundation of the world. It is the trick of the enemy to get you off side-tracked! “If I can get you off track!” If I can just get you out of the race!” “If I can silence your mouth!” “If I can cease to have you live the way God intended for you to live!” Then the devil wins. But the devil does “not” win because God gives us grace OVER our shame!!!

Now the reason that I am teaching this, this afternoon, is because the church must simply do a better job of helping people get over their shame and failure. There are masses of people in our churches across the country that can’t seem to ever get up from shame. It’s not that God has not forgiven them. God has forgiven them but the deacons won’t! Or God forgave them but the ushers wouldn’t! Or God forgave them but the elders wouldn’t or the church members would not forgive them! You see, sin is whatever “WE” don’t struggle with!!! When “WE” struggle with it…it’s a weakness!!! But when someone “ELSE” struggles with it…it’s a sin!!! And “WE” want everyone to have mercy on us when it’s our stuff but we don’t want to show mercy to anyone else because “WE” want to say, “Well they should have known better!!!” Well, you should have known better!!! “YOU” should have!!! But GOD…HAD…MERCY on you!!! Do I have ONE witness in the room right now???!!!

Let’s turn to Second Samuel thirteen. Tamar walked in shame. “My God.” Tamar walked in shame because of her brother Amnon. Verses thirteen and two says, “His lust for her caused him to become frustrated.” The scenario was setup by his friend Jonadab. Ya’ll know Jonadab. Jonadab was very shrewd. You see, Jonadab is the one who makes reservations for you at the hotel. Jonadab is the one that understands that you’re having trouble in your own marriage so he provides you with somebody on the side. Jonadab is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Jonadab looks like he’s converted, looks like he’s saved but he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Jonadab has not been converted! Jonadab is a sinner! Jonadab is a thief! Jonadab is shrewd!!! Jonadab is the one…who looks lightly on your fornication and adultery!!! Jonadab is the one…who understands your mess!!!

He hides you. He lowers the seat when you are coming around the saints. Jonadab is the one who hides your secret. He won’t let anybody know that you’re married but you are in adultery. Jonadab is the one who hides your mess. He don’t want anybody to know that deep down inside, your selling dope. Nobody knows that you are selling dope. You’re in the church but you’re not in Christ!!! You’ve got religion but you have no relationship!!! You have a position in the church but you have no power!!! You have no anointing! JONADAB!!! Watch who your friends are!!! Watch out for Jonadab!!! Because any friend that would side with your mess, or hide your adultery, or hide your sin is not a friend at all!!!

Jonadab said, “Why don’t you act like you are sick.” “Act like you are sick!!!” “And let your sister Tamar come in.” “And when she comes in…take advantage of her!” And the Bible says, “His lust got the best of him.” Stop confusing lust with love!!! Lust says, “I can’t wait to get her!” Love says, “I’ll wait until the time is right!” Lust says, “I’ll do whatever I need to do to get her in my bed!!!” Love says, “I’ll wait for her!” “I’ll wait for him!” “I’ll respect them until the time is right!”

And as is most often the case, after he had her “he hated her.” After he got what he thought he wanted, the Bible says, “he hated her.” Isn’t that not often the case, after there is another notch on your belt? After you got what you thought you wanted? May I remind you again that the one who plays is often the one who never becomes the wife or husband? The one who’s easy is often the one who never is made a commitment to. And the church is filled with men and women who are easy but never get committed. Because if you are in religion and not relationship, you follow the ways of the world and not the ways of Christ!!! There is a blueprint called the Bible and the Bible says “he who finds a wife finds a good thing.” The Word of God teaches us how to live, how we are to operate and how we are to walk!!! And Tamar walked away in SHAME!!! She ripped her robe. She put ashes on her head and she went away weeping because she was ashamed. David was ashamed because he committed adultery with Bathsheba and he said to the prophet Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

What do we do with our shame? Second Corinthians and the forth chapter. How do we handle our shame? I want to leave you four points and we are going home. What is the remedy for our shame? The remedy for getting right with God? What is our remedy for coming back to God? What is our remedy for putting away shame once and for all and walking in freedom? How do I come back from shame? How do I begin to walk in the newest of life? After I have repented of my sin, after I have been remorseful, after I have reflected on sin?

Number one, I must remove the stumbling block! Whatever the stumbling block is, I must move it. If it is a soul mate, I must move it. If it’s a relative, I must move it! If it’s a relationship that is keeping me bound up, and I can’t seem to get free, I must ask God to kill “it” before “it” kills me!!! Peter, Satan desires to sift you like wheat. But I prayed for you that your faith might not fail. Remove the stumbling block!!! The way back from shame, the remedy for removing shame is to remove the stumbling block!!!

Let me just say this. The church has got to be more sensitive and more caring with the people that have slipped and have fallen. The church must be more concerned with the man or women of God who possesses a real call on their life but got deceived by the devil himself! The church must be concerned about those who have fallen off the wagon and left the church!!! And we must reach out and restore them and bring them back into the fold with a changed heart, a changed mind and with a determination to live for God!!! We must remove the stumbling block!!!

Number two, we must renounce everything not like God! Lets look at the text. Chapter four verse one. “Therefore since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.” Are you there? Verse two, what does your Bible say? “We have renounced secret and shameful ways.” “We do not use deception nor do we distort the Word of God, on the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscious in the sight of God.” We have renounced secret and shameful ways!!! We have “renounced” everything unclean!!! We have “renounced” generational curses!!! We have “renounced” the spirit of lust!!! We have “renounced” the spirit of poverty!!! We have “renounced” the spirit of shame!!! We have “renounced” the hidden things!!! We have “renounced” everything that is not like God!!! We have put everything under the Blood!!! We have called it by name and we’ve RENOUNCED IT!!!

Number three, James chapter four verse seven. “Resist the devil…and he will flee…from you.” We must rebuke…the devil…aggressively!!! James says rebuke him or “resist him.” Don’t play with it! He’s not your friend, he’s your adversary!!! And he walks around seeking whom he may devour. Would you shake somebody’s hand and say, “You must rebuke him aggressively!!!” I don’t mean play with it!!! I’m not talking about patty-cake but I’m talking about, you must aggressively rebuke the devil!!! I “REBUKE” the devil!!! I resist everything not like God!!! I make a defense against evil!!! I learn how to plead the Blood!!! I come against everything that would hinder my marriage, hinder my family or hinder my future!!! I am a child of God!!!

Number four, Psalm 51 verse 10. “Create in me a what? And renew a what? Number four; renew your vow to the LORD! What did you promise God? What kind of commitment did you make to God? “Lord if you bring me through this, I‘ll serve you until I die!” “If you finally break the shackle of dope off of my life, God I will serve you!!!” “I will preach!!!” “I’ll do what you told me to do!!!” “I make my vow to the LORD!!!” What did you commit to God?

And then number five and finally, Philippians chapter three and with this we go home. Are you there? “Brothers, and sisters, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of everything yet but one thing I do” I keep forgetting, forgetting, disremembering taking the power out of my past…releasing my transgressors. Stop trying to fight with those that are no longer in the land of the living. You’re still fightin’ somebody dead! I know that he molested you!!! And I know that they were against you!!! I know that he broke your heart!!! And I know that he beat you!!! And I know that she hurt you!!! And I know they didn’t treat you right!!! But don’t waist your time trying to get back or get even! Spend your time trying to get ahead! You can never get ahead by continuing to rehearse what happened in your yesterday! You cannot change your yesterday but you can change your tomorrow!

Forgetting those things that are behind me!!! I’m forgetting those things that are behind me and I’m reaching, I’m straining towards what’s ahead of me. I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me in Christ Jesus. I want to learn to rehearse my future!!!

The more you talk about your future, the more you create it. The more power you give to what you are becoming. Paul says, “I’m crucified” meaning, I died with Christ!!! Fornication died!!! Adultery died!!! Incest died!!! Shame died!!! Alcoholism died!!! Drug Addiction died!!! Poverty died!!! I’m crucified with Christ!!! Nevertheless…I LIVE!!!! Yet not I but Christ lives in me!!! And the life I live now? Paul says, “And the life I live now, I live by faith.” Did you hear me? So I get ticked off when I hear people say, “I ain’t gonna never have no house!” The devil’s a liar!!! Stop saying, “I’m a die an old maid. Ain’t nobody showing me no time and attention!!!” The devil’s a liar!!! Start seeing your self married the right way. SEE your self scrubbing your own floors!!! SEE yourself with a bride on your arm!!! SEE your self with your grandbaby!!! See yourself preaching the Gospel!!! SEE yourself with your own businesses!!! SEE yourself as a child of God!!!

1 See 2 Sam.11:2-3

Bishop Donald Hilliard, Jr. is senior pastor of the Historic Second Baptist Church in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. The church is also known as The Cathedral International. He is the Presiding Bishop and Founder of the Covenant Ecumenical Fellowship and Cathedral Assemblies, Inc. Hilliard earned a Master of Divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree from the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He is the author of several books including: Somebody Say Yes, and The Face Of Fear. Bishop Hilliard is married to Min. Phyllis Thompson-Hilliard.

Copyright © 2006 Donald Hilliard Ministries. All Rights Reserved.
Used by permission,, 2006

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