“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” Mark 10:51 NIV
“Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.”
The blind man wanted to see. I’ve pondered Jesus’ question many times, “What do you want me to do for you?” Walking the Christian journey, we realize “we were blind, but now we see.” How devastating this may be. Before our conversion, we knew we sinned. After our conversion, we are overwhelmed with the flaws, mistakes, sins and hurts we have done. Guilt or Shame?
Horrible behavior at a social or company function.
Being a smoker, obese, uneducated, poor, addicted, too many sexual partners and on it goes.
Guilt: the realization that what I did was wrong. A change of mind and action along with an apology works well. Grace.
Shame: the realization that I am wrong. A flawed, devastating feeling about who we are that is totally wrong. Isolates. Devastates. Lies. Paralyzes. Inauthentic. Grace doesn’t seem to quench the fire of shame.
Stuck! Stuck! Stuck! I know my life is hidden in Christ, but others? Not so much.
What to do? We are counseled to confess our sins to our Father and to another. Oh, what a big slice of humble pie this is! All is not horrible though. We are a New Creation, though our behaviors shout differently. Thank God for his patience! We need some for ourselves too. Even Paul struggled doing what he did not want to do. Grace gives us a “do-over.”
When we confess to another Christian, one who truly has our best interests at heart, we are encouraged. Usually, a Christian will say they’ve done something similar. Our heart receives some peace in the company of another struggling to grow. Vulnerability: the opposite of shame.
We are New Creations. We are made in the image of God. One mistake, snafu, slipup and then roaring, condemning, shameful feelings! Sometimes I think shame is the Devil’s most favorite tool. It stops us from being honest, reaching out and a wedge grows between our Father and ourselves. We don’t deserve joy, success, friends and family. Shame rips away all the wonderful things our Father wants for us. Today I will be vulnerable. Today I will have courage and share with another. Today I will be grateful my Father made me.
You nailed shame to the cross. You make us walk in “newness of life.” Thank you. But we are fearful. Remind us to “step into the water” of vulnerability and watch the sea part. We cannot truly love with shame dragging us down, not ourselves, another or you. We cannot be “real” with shame poisoning our hearts and lives. We give you our shameful feelings today and in faith, share our vulnerability.