Thursday, June 19, 2014

If it's shame that you're wearing


Middle school is a breeding ground for it. Suzy Q looks over at your clunky loafers and asks, “Where’d you get those shoes?”

You’re not sure if she’s asking in a good way or not, but you don’t want to tell her it was a discount store, instead of the shop where all the popular girls buy their Bass Weejuns, John Romain handbags, and Villager outfits. So you just tell her it was in a store in the next town over.

But she sees through it and laughs. “Oh, you’re just saying that so you don’t have to admit it was some cheap place.”
And you feel it. The blood rises to your face, and the dark cloud comes down—shame. Shame that you’re not one of the popular girls with the cute clothes.  You know your mama bought your dresses off the five  for twenty-five rack, and you blush even more, and maybe that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because there’s a lot you don’t tell anyone. You feel the shame at what you don’t have, and what you’ve lost, and those moments can stack up like Boeing 737s over Hartsfield on a Friday afternoon.

This source says that, “The roots of the word shame are thought to derive from an older word meaning "to cover"; as such, covering oneself, literally or figuratively, is a natural expression of shame.”
You try to cover with the cloak of anonymity and fade into the background, but if you stand as tall and nearly skinny as a Georgia pine, it’s impossible. Because you literally stick out.

Shame follows you around and wants to name you. Wants to tell you that you are shame. Shame points out every loss, every failure, every time you don’t measure up. And somewhere along the way, you pick it up and began to carry it like luggage for life—ashamed of you.

It was not always like this. Genesis 2:25 says, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Before sin, there was no shame. However, one bite, one taste of the forbidden fruit, and shame began to stalk us for destruction.

And stalked and stalked until in the fullness of time, God sent Jesus to deal with it, once and for all.

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”(Hebrews 12:2).  

Jesus didn’t run from shame. He faced it. In the Message, Peterson says Jesus, “could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.” He did this for us, so we wouldn't always have to be dragging that heavy suitcase around, so we wouldn't have to live under a shadow, covering ourselves with the blanket of our unworthiness.

One day you believe it. You leave that suitcase and that blanket and walk away into the sunshine. You aren’t all those things shame has said. You are His.

Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah in Romans 10, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”

Oh, you’ll still have those moments when shame pretends to own you again, but it cannot, because you’ve already been bought with the blood of God’s Son, and you are not ashamed anymore.

My friends, that’s good news, no matter what shoes you’re wearing.

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