Friday, December 31, 2010

Healthy Shame?

Placing our lives in His hands means there exists, what may seem like, conflicting thoughts. His Word tells us we are set free from feeling shame and the lies shame brings, yet  we feel ashamed when we look at the things we used to participate in. Romans 6:21, 22 states, “What fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now having been set free…” If we look carefully we begin to see that it is the fruit of those things we used to believe and act on; the attitudes or behaviors themselves. Our participation with those things is the emphasis not their existence within us. They are a part of our humanity. 
By God’s mercy we have been set free of these by the death of His Son on the cross. This fact is undeniable. Those attitudes and behaviors bring a shame response when brought out into the light by God's Presence and Word. Elitism, jealousy, resentment, lying, and unforgiveness are just a few. Living for and walking with the Lord includes the expectation that we will be confronted with the inconsistencies in our heart and life.
There isn’t any way to become like Jesus than to be confronted with the truth of our “self” first. In being confronted with the fruit of our “self”, we will see the death it can bring when not in submission to God. Jesus paid the price on the cross making salvation possible. The price we pay is a healthy sense of shame when God confronts us with our ongoing participation with sin. We are no longer unaware of its presence or our choice as to what we will participate with. That kind of shame we can take because it means we are loved enough by Him to be challenged and disciplined. That kind of love we can live with.

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