In my journey as a Christian, much of the wisdom I have gained has come from living with the circumstances of either bad decisions and mistakes I’ve made, or things that someone else did to me. But instead of taking this wisdom and sharing it with others who may be going through the same plight…I have walled it up and covered it over, pretending it never happen. I have denied this hard-gained insight to others because of two little words…shame and guilt. Now if when you read the words shame and guilt something popped up in your mind…something you’re not proud of…then these words are for you. Shame and guilt will effectively stop our voice and render us totally unusable for Kingdom purposes. Need an example? Think back to a low point in your life…now how could of it been different if someone had come up to you and shared how they had gone through the identical situation, how God had brought them through, and what they had learned from it? Wouldn’t their wisdom have helped you? Just to have someone say, “I’ve gone through what you’re now going through.” is such a comfort… that’s why Support Groups are so popular. So if the world has already figured it out with a Support Group for everything conceivable…why do we Christians still hide our mistakes from each other? To illustrate my point further, let’s go to a very familiar story in the New Testament, but look at it in a entirely different way. The story is about the paralytic being healed by Jesus, with Jesus saying to him, “I tell you get up, take your mat and go home. Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home. (Luke 5:24-25) So why did Jesus tell this man to pick up his mat and take it home with him? The mat would’ve been worn-out, dirty, stinky, and just plain nasty. It would of also been a sad reminder of his past hardships. But to Jesus, the mat represented the undeniable miracle that had taken place in this man’s life… a powerful testimony and witness to anyone who knew the man beforehand, for unquestionably he had been healed. To the paralytic though, the mat only characterized the shame and guilt of his difficult past. But the man obeyed and took the mat home with him…and every time someone asked about it, he could point to it …and then to Jesus. We all have a dirty mat thrown in the corner that we’d just like to forget about, and something shame and guilt would like us to keep hidden…but Jesus is telling us otherwise. For from that “mat” has come valuable wisdom you possess that He wants you to share with others. So never allow shame and guilt to stop you from telling others about your past…for I know there’s someone out there today who desperately needs to hear your story.