Wednesday, February 21, 2007

What comes to mind when you hear the word, "shame"? Take a second and think about it.

Have you felt it? Have you walked it? Does it trouble or confuse you? There have been times in my life when I have put on shame like a garment...some old jeans that have holes in them that you know you should dispose of but they're too familiar. There have been days when I have looked for refuge and not found it. There have been times when I have listened to the voice of the enemy, even recognizing his accusing tone, and believed him. Can you relate?

There is a difference between shame and guilt. Guilt comes from an says that a particular action was bad. Shame comes from the says YOU are bad. God doesn't use shame to motivate us. The Spirit brings conviction of actions that are apart from His will. The Spirit wants that heart---the heart that belongs to the Father. Shame can send us to the pit believing that we can never overcome, never amount to much, never be pleasing to the Father. Jesus took that shame and made a spectacle of it...those rulers and authorities of darkness. He nailed shame to the cross and triumphed over it by rising from the dead. Praise Him!

Today is Ash Wednesday. It's a time for contemplation and introspection. There are areas in our lives where we need to repent. We are guilty. We've done things that are against God. But, he takes that guilt upon Himself if we'll let Him. And shame...well, shame is a tool of the enemy. I need to remember that as I accept the mercy that He has given me through the blood of Jesus.

If you have a chance...try and find an Ash Wednesday service. I'll bet it would be a blessing...different, but might allow for a meaningful visual.


Amy said...

Great thoughts for today, Brandon. Thank you.

Stephen Bailey said...

You know me as well as anyone does, so you know that I do not blush easily at language. However, when I hear a parent or teacher issue a, "Shame on you!" to a kid I want to punch them. It's a curse!

I'm very excited about our Ash Wednesday service tonight with The Church of the Resurrection. Their heritage is Lutheran, so we're blending the two. It will be a pretty traditional Lutheran Ash Wednesday service only in a church of Christ building with grape juice instead of wine at communion and all the music will be acappella. I think it will be very cool!

Thomas+ said...

Ash Wednesday is, of course, merely the first day of Lent. So, everyone has a few weeks to contemplate Brandon's admonitions.