The Center of Shame {Three Practical Ways to Rid Yourself of It}

Thursday, July 24, 2014

She has been shunned. Not because of what she did, but what has been done to her. Permanently kicked out of the household because she bore his son. No more family to lean on. No more home to live in. Her name is Hagar.

He had to flee. When you take justice into your own hands and kill a man it is bound to come to light. So into the wilderness he runs. No more family. No more friends. No more palace. His name is Moses.

They aren't allowed around others. When you look like that who would want you? They are filthy and not fit for human companionship. The law may keep them away, but it is the shame that keeps their eyes low. Their name is Leper.

When shame walks into a room relationships walk out. The center of shame is the absence of relationship. We have messed up too much to be in the presence of others. Or we have been sinned against so much that our only conclusion is that we must be unworthy like a leper. Shame creeps in.

We try to get rid of it. We blame another thinking that will cleanse us. But the "Shame and Blame Game" has been around since a snake serve up pieces of fruit in a plentiful garden and has never worked. Blaming our neighbor won't release us from it.

We try perfection. Funny, because it is our lack of perfection that brings on shame. Just maybe if we are good enough, kind enough, a servant enough they will accept us. You can't obtain perfection if you aren't perfect, and besides, perfection didn't work for Jesus. He was perfect, and yet unacceptable. They hated Him. Shunned Him. Rejected Him. Perfection won't silence the shame of rejection.

We try the "Great Cover-Up" also know as a lie, but it is like trying to cover up a hemorrhaging wound...there are no resources to make that look pretty.

Are we destined to live an isolated life? No relationships because the shame can't be blamed on someone else, perfected into something else, or lied into oblivion. At the center of shame is the absence of relationships, and we are stuck. Our shame needs to be stripped away, and the only One that can do that is the one stripped of His dignity so that we could have some. At the center of the solution to shame is a Saviour who calls us worthy. Not because of what we did, but what He did.

He is the Restorer....of our hearts, our souls, and our relationships.

Here are some practical ideas on how to deal with shame:

Confess. Confession to God forgives us {I John 1:9}, and confession to others heals us {James 5:16}. Trying to cover it up only makes it worse. Bring it out into the open and it loses its power.

Cast off the outcast mentality. If you feel like an outcast because of your own sin or what has been done to you then correcting your thinking is in order. We need to worry more about what God thinks of us than what others do. Their opinions don't matter in the ultimate end.  We are accepted and loved in Christ regardless of another's rejection.

Crave Christ. Shame is a problem of association. Association with sin and the people that contaminate us with it {sometimes that person is ourselves}. Working on your relationship with God will ease some of the shame. Our focus should be on Him first. Association with a Savior quells the shame.

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