No one likes to blush with embarrassment over a silly mistake.
No one wants to be dishonored or disgraced by a wrong choice.
No one wants to be disappointed by a misplaced hope.
No one desires to be swallowed up in a sea of confusion.
No one wants to be haunted by memories of guilt and regret.
No one wants to suffer shame; ever. Ever. EVER.
At least I don’t. But I have…
I have experienced humiliation.
I have suffered the guilt and discomforting effects of a decision gone terribly wrong.
I have trusted some one who betrayed me and the after effects of that relationship left me devastated.
Shame has accused me of being not good enough, not pretty enough, not intelligent enough, not funny enough, not athletic enough, not thin enough and not worthy enough.
In all honesty, I have felt stupid, stupid, stupid.
I have allowed myself to fall victim to its deception. If shame were personified, shame would taunt me with accusations that I am dumb, stupid and inadequate.
Shame wants me to forget who I am….in Christ.
I think it is interesting that misplaced trust can result in shame. When things don’t turn out the way I had hoped or when some one I trusted lets me down, I can definitely feel shame’s effects.
Shame is rendered powerless, however, when my trust is secured in Christ alone.
Peter reminds his readers of this truth with the words of Isaiah:
For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 1 Peter 2:6 NIV
In Christ, we are never put to shame as we trust Him for our lives.
Jesus Christ, our Savior, could have allowed shame to dishonor His name, but He did not. He showed us how to be free…
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. Hebrews 12:2 NIV
Jesus Christ suffered and endured every disgraceful taunt, mocking accusation, and abusive lash for our sake.
In Matthew 27:41-43, “In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the King of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross and we will believe him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now, if he wants him….”
Jesus Christ chose to endure every condemning word because He knew that His God and Father wanted him!
He wants us too! Do you believe that?
In Christ, we are more than good enough.
In Christ, we are beautiful enough, intelligent enough, fit enough, etc.
In Christ, we are worthy enough.
In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Psalm 31:1 NIV
When we trust in the name of Jesus Christ, we are loosed from the bonds of shame and its painful accusations and humiliating judgment. In Christ, we are set free and delivered from it.
Friends, the world would have us think that our faith and hope in Christ is a misplaced trust. The church and government leaders in the time of Jesus certainly believed that and secured his death sentence. Thousands of Jesus’ disciples suffered persecution and death because of their faith in Christ; despising the shame of the world. It is my hope that we would do the same today regardless of what our current world thinks or says against us.
When we trust in Christ wholeheartedly, shame and its far-reaching tentacles of accusation, confusion and disgrace are bound and cut. Shame has no power and ultimately disentegrates. As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Romans 10:11 NIV
I don’t know if you have ever suffered shame like me in the past, or if you are dealing with something shame-inducing at present, my encouragement to you is this, trust and take refuge in your Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
If it’s a mistake you’ve made, admit it.
If it’s a wrong direction you’ve walked, turn around.
If it’s a misplaced hope you’ve entrusted, give it up.
If it’s a humiliating defeat, begin again.
It’s time to turn shame on its head.
All this is possible in Christ, who endured the cross and scorned its shame so that we may live an abundant, free and glorious life in Him forever and ever. It’s possible. Really.
It is my prayer that my family, my friends and I will lay down our shame once and for all. You offer us a transformational love through Jesus Christ, your Son. He’s with us. He is able to secure our freedom both now and forever as we trust in Him. We have a Hope that will never disappoint, disgrace or harm us. That’s a promise we can depend upon today and every day. The world would have us believe that our shame has scarred us and prohibited us from receiving your grace and mercy. Make us deaf to these lies and accusations. In Christ, we are worthy and forgiven.
Thank you for your Son and his sacrifice for us. May we continue to fix our eyes upon Him in our daily lives and shine the light of His love and forgiveness for the world to see.
Photo by bacupmick of Flickr