Originally published Friday, 14 November 2014.
I messed up again. Guilt hit me like a wrecking ball pounding into a damaged building ready to crumble. It hit me hard and when the shame came – it effectively ruined me. Defeated, crumbled, laying in pain – I hurt. I wondered, what does God say about shame in the bible?
Starting up at the sky, I realize, I lost sight of Christ, what he has called me to do, his unique plan for me, his purposes, his might, his power, his authority.
I lost sight of it all.
I looked at another person and decided God’s blueprint for my life wasn’t as good – wasn’t so possible – after all.
Where did I go wrong? I saw all that I wasn’t. I saw all that she was. And, as I saw all of her – I saw less of me. I saw none of God.
Then, the shame overpowered my guilt. It crushed me because I lacked faith. It left me feeling embarrassed that Miss “Encourage” was “Discouraged” (I am called the “Cheerleader of Faith” after all). It said I am defined by my sin of envy, jealousy and comparison.
My guilt said I messed up – but, my shame said I would always mess up.
Isn’t that how it is with shame? Shame says we are selfish. Shame says we will always steal God’s glory. Shame says we will always fail. Shame says we may as well give up. Shame said we can’t do any good – why try?
Shame tumbled me. It came to thwart God’s plan – to knock me down. Unrecognized, it would have succeeded.
But, as I stared at my wreckage, God got me to thinking…
I got wrecked, because I took my eyes off of Christ.
I got wrecked to divert me from God’s mission.
God has great plans for me.
The Devil wants to wreck anything that brings glory to God above himself.
Jesus didn’t die so I could be condemned; there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.
God loves me; he will take the wreckage and reconstruct me as I ask for forgiveness.
We can’t let shame knock us down. We can’t let shame win. Because, you better bet it will try to tell us that we aren’t good, holy or lovable. Shame will come to trap us under the bricks, holding us down so that we can’t accomplish God’s purposes. Shame is one of the devil’s best tools to chisel away at our faith walk.
He has used it since the very first days – days when all was happy and joyful and peaceful in the garden of Eden. He offered sin on a plate – and now we talk about this apple over and over again.
The devil offered, Eve accepted, the world defected.
Sin distanced us from God. In fact, we see shame in the bible, as Adam and Eve hid from God (Genesis 3:8) after they sinned. The were so burdened by shame and so overwhelmed that they didn’t want to stand in front of their glorious maker. They wanted to hide, to be unseen, to cower in fear, to go under the radar, to pretend it didn’t happen. They wanted to avoid God at all costs.
Shame makes us run. It makes us hide.
The devil knows this. He knows if he can get us to move towards sin, he can hit us with his powerful wrecking ball. He has a plan to hit us – and to hit us hard.
- Hit them with regret.
- Hit them with fear.
- Hit them with embarrassment and shame.
- Hit them so hard they can’t get up and walk to the foot of the cross.
- Hit them so they move away God, not towards repentance.
- Hit them so they forget that God forgives.
- Hit them so they walk away from believing in God’s grace.
- Hit them swiftly and trap them in sin.
What if Adam and Eve ran to God, instead of hiding? What if they called out to Him? Their shame didn’t protect them, or absolve them or benefit them in any way.
…and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
The Lord could still see them clear as day. He knew where they were – and what they had done. There is no hiding from God.
And, today, we don’t have to hide because there is no more shame in Christ Jesus. Christ absolved us of all shame, because he endured all shame. Enough. It’s done. It is finished. (John 19:30). Released. Gone. Done. Complete. As believers, we are secure.
God wants us to come to Him – open, vulnerable and ready to receive what he has done.
Reveal your shame, and he will reveal grace. Come to him out of hiding and he will come to you with healing. Run to his arms and confess and he will give you rest.
God’s story of redemption is beautiful. It all circles back to Him. Even when we mess up – it is all about Him. Praise you God.
God loves us.
God calls you from hiding. He has important words to speak to you about shame in the bible:
Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus… (Romans 8:1)
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)
…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. (Phil. 3:13)
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. (Hebrews 8:12)
We can’t stand accused when we stand forgiven. Confess sin, accept grace, sin no more and rob the devil of his best tool.