Friday, January 8, 2010

What a Shame

I love these lyrics:
Our sin doesn't shock you.
Our shame doesn't shame you at all.

And it really doesn't! Even when we live as though it does… we believe somehow it must.

How often do we say "Shame on you?"

We say it to kids who have misbehaved. We say it to others; maybe we even say it to ourselves. Sometimes we say it jokingly and sometimes we really mean it. All spoken words have power whether we intend them to or not. We take that shovel full of shame, guilt, and unworthiness and heap it on. Then we walk around in life, feeling like we are caked in dried mud. It makes us feel heavy. There is stiffness to our movements. It puts a layer between us and others. It might make us look fragile and after enough time we will begin to believe we are. Shame becomes the mirror for how we view who we are.

Job 10:15 (NIV)
If I am guilty—woe to me!
Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head,
for I am full of shame
and drowned in my affliction.

I have spent time living in a self-built fort of shame. And I have lived in freedom in the fields of wildflowers and then chosen to climb back into the fort. Why? And what does that say about my faith? We humans are so illogical at times. It’s time to come out, put on a white dress and dance and never look back.

God is ever faithful. The word is full of references to our shame. God does not desire us to live under its weight. The bathwater has already been run just waiting for us to climb in and rinse the muck off. Why are we still standing here?

Psalm 25:3 (NIV)
No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.

Psalm 34:5 (NIV)
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame

Isaiah 54:4a (NIV)
"Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame.
Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.

Even Jesus had to deal with shame. He could have taken the mud that was thrown at him and carried it around in self-defeat. Born in a manger. From seedy Nazareth. Hung on a cross, naked… as the Messiah. But He didn’t! He refused to take on its curse.

Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Have you gotten so used to the weight of shame that you no longer recognize it? Are you afraid the shell of mud is all that is left of you? That somehow you have disintegrated inside it? It’s just not true. The mud has clouded your vision. I've been there. I know.

He is the master cleanser. He might have to do a little scrubbing in places… but oh how you will shine when he is done!

Shame shackles us to the ground and keeps us from flying. We were all meant to leave the mud and soar.

It’s bathtime!!

(you can even take Mr. Peep the disco chick)

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