It's the beginning of the year, we've made resolutions and goals to change the things that we see in our lives, in ourselves that need to be different. We wrote down the goals, made the list, we know what to do, where we want to be, but something keeps us from starting.
Could it be shame?
Shame keeps us from entering into the now because it directs our focus on the past. Mistakes we've made in the days, months, or years gone by belittle and taunt us. Maybe the shame isn't from a mistake we made, but a wrong that we've suffered at someone else's hand, still, shame holds us, accusingly, asking,
How could we have let this happen?
Shame keeps us locked in yesterday.While today is slipping by and tomorrow beckons, we are hopelessly stuck. No amount of lists or intentions can move us forward.
You see that's just where I've been. Locked. Oh, I have my list, my goals and plan for the year. I know what needs change. But every time I would make an attempt at taking a step forward the shame would call out, How could you have gotten in such a mess?, or, This is so bad you'll never get out, or, You are such a loser and if anyone finds out they'll think so too. It sounds ridiculous, but it's the truth. I would hear those thoughts and others in my head whenever I would attempt to make a step in the right direction. I was stuck and kept from moving forward because of shame.
Is that God's heart for me? Is shame some sort of punishment, so I can continue to remember my sin?
No. In fact Romans 10:11 says,
Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame. (niv)
And Hebrews 8:12 says,
They'll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean. (msg)
So the other morning after I got the boys to school I sat on my couch eating my breakfast enjoying the quiet and reading a devotional. It was about David, King David. The man chosen and anointed by God to be King over His people had messed up, big time. He committed adultery with another man's wife, got her pregnant and arranged for her husband to be killed so he could marry her. He messed up. When he realized his sin, he asked God's forgiveness.
The baby became very ill. David prayed. He didn't eat or bathe or leave his house. The baby died.
Now I can only imagine that he must have felt shame or at the very least been tempted to feel it. But after all of that happened the bible says,
Then David got up...
He screwed up big time, maybe even more than most of us, went through anguish and pain that his own actions had caused. Yet he recognized it and asked God's forgiveness, received it and he got up and did the next thing.
And God calls David, the man He chose to be king, yet flawed and merely human, a man after His own heart. He screwed up, he repented and received forgiveness and he got up. That very night he conceived Solomon who would be the next king and known in the Bible as the wisest of all men.
So, by faith I'm giving my shame to God. It's not from Him and it's not His intent that I carry it. I'm ready to do the next thing. How about you? Can you give Him your shame by faith? It's not from Him and it's not His intent that you carry it. Can you receive His freedom today? Let it be said of us, after all that's held us, after all the ways we've messed up or the ways we've been hurt,
Then she got up.
Is this your first visit to Freedom Friday?
We're embracing freedom each Friday here in 2012.
Click here for a list of the other posts in the series.