I was in the living room last night when I heard my teenager ask me from the kitchen, “Should I feel bad about myself?” Inside I went, “Uh-oh. Now what did he do that he feels ashamed about?” So, I asked him. After a minute of dead silence he said, “There’s only 2 pieces of fish. Should I feel bad that I’m going to take the bigger piece of fish, and leave the small one for Dad?” My immediate reaction was laughter followed by, “Whew, Is THAT all he’s worried about?” (He did end up taking the smaller piece of fish-good kid.)
Shame came to mind again this morning as I woke up having dreamed about an OLD boyfriend. Feelings of icky shame flooded my body. Not just because of the dream, but, of course, Satan wants to remind me of every stinking shameful thing I ever did in my entire life, and I’ve done a lot! The old movie reel went round and round as every shameful deed came to mind. What to do?
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have been justified by his blood how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
It is during times like these that I am truly thankful that the Holy Spirit drew me, despite my utter sinfulness, to dive into scripture and read the Bible as if my life depended on it. There are beautiful passages like the one above that address our shame, and with which we can fight back when the enemy, Satan, decides to pick at us.
When I was an unbeliever I never knew what to do with my shame. I would try to run away from it. I felt trapped by it. But praise be to God He has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ! David realized that, and that is why he penned Psalm 51. He understood the grace and mercy of the One True God. We are indeed a forgiven people!
As I grow in my faith I have found that shame is a road sign pointing to The Way. Shame can be a friend of mine. It leads me to a repentant, broken and contrite heart before others, and before My Savior, Jesus Christ. I believe these unseen materials may even be used to pave a broken path for others to find Jesus and His cross.
Father God, I cry out to you for mercy. I am so ashamed! I am so sorry for everything that I have ever done and still do that is an abomination in your sight! My heart hurts, Lord, that my sin was your shame. Thank you that you bore the shame of the cross for me. Forgive me, Jesus, Amen.
(And if I have ever done anything to hurt anyone reading this blog, if I have ever sinned against you, please please PLEASE forgive me.)