It's a Crying Shame
I invite you to grab a cup of something warm and sit with me for a brief moment sweet woman. I want to share something that may just rock your world, I know it did mine!
"Satan has a way of making us feel less ashamed of our sin (the one thing that separates us from God), and more ashamed of ourselves (the one thing that connects us to him)." She Reads Truth, Study Bible
I talk to many women, and one thing I find in common is this tiny thread, it's almost hidden, because of how transparent it is. It is a string that reminds me of fishing line. It appears invisible to the one that it's meant to catch, yet the one that placed the bait on the end, (oh he) KNOWS it's there! I call this thread shame.
We can take one quick peak back to the beginning of human kind. In the book of Genesis Chapter 3 and see the entrance of this 5 letter word. See, before Genesis 3 there was no shame, in-fact God made it very clear that man and woman walked the earth NAKED and UNASHAMED, and it was very good. Can you even imagine? I don't know about you, but it has taken me years and tons of personal growth (in the Lord) to become even the tiniest bit unashamed without my clothes on in front of my beloved. Just keeping it real.
Okay... This thread... Shame it's bondage WOMAN! And guess what? You aren't called to live here anymore. You are summoned to the other side, to Freedom.
What saddens my soul is this fact,
"many women know this truth but they don't embrace it, they don't claim it over their lives."
They instead wander aimlessly searching for the hope, but remain covered by ginormous grey clouds that rains on them daily.
If you know me, you know I'm a definition junky. Why? Well, words mean things. So let's define shame.
1. a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.
2. a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute.
3. something that brings censure or reproach.
I love what the She Reads Truth Study Bible said. How true is that quote? A lot of the shame we feel is over sin, past sins, that when we're in Christ, they've already been forgiven!
In the garden they may have went from pure, lovely, and clean, to dirty and ashamed rather quickly, but guess what, we make a rapid transformation when we are purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. We go from filthy parasites to royalty in a matter of moments. The problem is, we don't simply forget the sins, and we do not magically turn perfect. I mean, that would be amazing, but guess what, it's not life. The human experience is very real, raw and at times hard!
See, this simple truth rocked my world, and it's a crying shame I didn't realize it sooner;
Sin equals shame! (Period)
Without sin, there is NO shame. I came to understand that when I am feeling SHAME, I have an unresolved issue, somewhere deep in the secret parts of my heart. I have to face myself; Who am I going to listen to? Who am I going to believe.
Paul told us to examen our lives. (2 Corinthians 13:5) and then in (Romans 12:2) We are called to renew our minds. When I examen and reflect on my life, I ask God to expose the uncomfortable spaces. I invite HIM to speak softly, and mercifully, and in return He calls my heart to genuine repentance and I walk in faith believing that I have been set free and made clean.
In our culture over the past few decades we have learned a lot in-regards to grace. We have learned to flee lives marked by legalistic standards, man made traditions and rules that over step the word of God. We learned that what is on the inside matters far more than the outside. But what about holiness? What about repentance?
Repentance FREES us from shame. Repentance acknowledges that our actions, thoughts and choices that are offensive to God, separate us from Him and lead us right into the hands of the enemy. Don't misunderstand what I am saying. Please don't hear me wrongly. I am not saying by any means, that you have lost your salvation, and that you are no longer His child. That is so far from the truth.
We do however find ourselves running, hiding in the bushes, trying to make our own clothes to cover ourselves just as our Brother Adam and sister Eve did. And can you guess what they felt? You're so right! They felt shame.
Jesus slammed the door shut on shame. He shut it, locked it and declared it "out of order" FOREVER. When He placed the door "out of order" He commissioned a NEW door for use and that door is the most beautiful, Joanna Gaines, gentle sliding, barn door you have ever seen (Let me use my sanctified imagination), called repentance.
If you feel the weight of shame sweet sister, today you can be set free. You are standing on holy ground. Loose your shoes, and hit your knees, you have been made clean, and you CAN stand unashamed.
Shame is a force to be reckoned with. It's fierce just like Satan himself. He is full of deceit and lies. He wants you to feel shame, the weight, the heaviness and he wants to drag you underwater for as long as possible. But it's time to come up for air.
There is so much hope to be found.
"Therefore, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus." (Romans 8:1)
EEEEKKKKKK!!! Now that makes me want to throw on my bathing suit, head to the high dive, spread my arms and fly. Maybe not that crazy, after all, I'm afraid of heights. For real though... Just sit with that verse for a hot minute or maybe two. I know it's hard to be still, but just be, be in it. There is no shame. There is NO condemnation for you lovely lady.
We can all stop trying so hard. We can all rest assured that there is no amount of makeup, cute clothes or fake it till we make it slogans, that can cover our shame like the gospel of Jesus Christ can.
Sweet gal, whatever shame you feel bound with, take it to the cross, lay it down and grace will be be found. Repent and turn to Jesus. Dig a little deeper than what's on the surface and cry out to Christ, He is the one that defeated sin, shame, and death itself. The enemy has no power of you.
Let me leave you with this - one of my favorite verses and chorus from a beautiful worship song we sing from time to time at our weekly gatherings.
"Who could imagine so great a mercy? What heart could fathom such boundless grace? The God of ages stepped down from glory to wear my sin and bear my SHAME. The cross has spoken, I am forgiven; The King of Kings calls me His own; Beautiful Savior, I'm Yours forever, Jesus Christ, my living hope. Hallelujah! Praise the One who set me free! Hallelujah! Death has lost it's grip on me! You have broken every chain, there's salvation in Your Name, Jesus Christ, my living hope."
(Words and Music: Brian Johnson and Phil Wickham, My Living Hope)
You are FREE in Jesus! Repent, believe and hope. You are no longer called to live in shame.