Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – July 1, 2019
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2, KJV
Shame is one of Satan’s most potent weapons. As the accuser of the brethren, his accusations are non-stop. “You are not really a Christian, how could a real Christian think what you think and do what you do. God doesn’t really care, if He did, why is He allowing you to suffer and feel alone? Your opinion doesn’t matter. You don’t matter. Others are more important than you”. Shame may have wounded you from childhood, a parent or teacher labeled you, “You will not amount to anything, you will never measure up to your sister”. Shame kills your confidence, cripples relationships and paralyzes faith. Fortunately, Jesus shows us how to deal with shame.
Our Savior had shame heaped on Him as He made His way to the cross to pay the penalty for sin, even for those who shamed Him along the way. “Save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God” (Matthew 27:40). Thankfully, through the barrage of condemnation, Jesus endured the cross and despised the shame. He ignored the lies and conquered the criticism by staying obedient to His Father’s will for His life. Our Savior’s love overcame shame. He forgave shameful sinners as they acted out their ignorance. Thus, we look to Jesus for faith when we feel forgotten and for joy when others jeer us. Love despises shame and forgives accusers.
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).
You despise shame when you recognize its origin. When someone demeans your character, “You will never amount to anything”, remind yourself, “I am God’s handiwork, created in Christ to do good works“. Or self-talk, “If I only had as much faith as…”, instead you pray, “Lord help my unbelief“. Don’t confuse someone else’s standard—read the Bible for an hour every day, for the Lord’s will for you—be quiet and listen daily in prayer for 10 minutes. You overcome shame in community, not alone. Also, ask the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin and lead you to repentance.
Shame from doing the wrong thing is healthy and necessary to grow in our relationship with God and others. Adam and Eve were ashamed after they disobeyed God, so good shame is being sensitive to sin, confessing and changing our behavior. The Holy Spirit will guide us in truth, convict us and heal us from shameful acts. Friends and family who love us will reveal our blindspots and help us grow in grace and truth. We despise shame when we ignore the voices of jealous pride, self-condemnation and accusations from the enemy. We reject false shame and embrace Christ, where we experience no condemnation. Despising shame frees us to freely love!
“No condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are “in” Jesus Christ. For the new spiritual principle of life “in” Christ lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death” (Romans 8:1, J.B. Phillips).
Dear Lord, deliver me from shame and embrace me in your love, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Who can help me process my shame and find healing in forgiveness and acceptance of who I am in Christ?
Love rejects false shame and embraces Christ, where we experience no condemnation. #wisdomhunters #shame #Jesus
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