What I’m Reading: Rid of My Disgrace

I really appreciated Justin and Lindsey Holcomb’s book Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault. I’d highly recommend it for anyone in any pastoral ministry and anyone who knows someone who has suffered any kind of sexual assault. In this book the Holcombs unpack their definition of sexual assault and reveal some shocking statistics about its frequency. They then unpack the common suffering of victims of sexual assault: denial, distorted self-image, shame, guilt, anger, and despair. They very effectively show how the gospel of Jesus applies to those struggles. This book is all about Jesus and how Jesus heals us of our brokenness and cleanses us of the sins we’ve committed and the sins committed against us.

(due to the shame and fear that comes with sexual assault researchers agree that sexual assault is badly under reported, so the actual numbers may be much higher)

  • 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetimes
  • approximately 80% of victims of sexual assault are assaulted by an acquaintance.
  • women ages 16-19 have the highest rate of sexual victimization
  • every 2 minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted
  • sexual assault occurs in 10-14% of all marriages

Some Favourite Quotations:

“the message of this book is that the gospel applies grace to disgrace and redeems what is destroyed” (p.21)

“Jesus Christ was killed, not for revenge but to bear her shame on the cross and to offer her a new robe of righteousness to replace her torn robes of disgrace… Jesus entered her pain and shame as Tamar’s substitute to remove the stain of sins committed against her, and he rose from the dead to bring her healing and hope.” (p.21)

“God’s vengeance makes the spiral of vengeance grind to a halt because the assurance that God will punish sin allows believers to freely love” (p.132)

“Hope is sure because God is behind the promise, and he has provided faithfully in the past to his people. The hope you need right now borrows from God’s faithfulness in the past and anticipation of it in the future” (p.147)

“all of these blessings are freely yours in Jesus Christ. Now and forever. All by grace. Grace is available because Jesus went through the valley of the shadow of death and rose from death. The gospel engages our life with all its pain, shame, rejection, lostness, sin, and death. So now, to your pain, the gospel says “you will be healed.” To your shame, the gospel says, “you are accepted!” To your lostness, the gospel says, “You are found and I won’t ever let you go.” To your sin, the gospel says, “you are forgiven and God declares you pure and righteous.” To your death, the gospel says, “You once were dead, but now you are alive.” (p.208)