Thursday, January 6, 2011

Shame - Embracing Humanity

"For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle..." (1 Corinthians 15: 9) Reading these words this morning, I found myself admiring how Paul seemed able to live powerfully and honestly with the reality of his past sin. Paul's words seem so opposite of what his life came to represent to those of us walking with the Lord two centuries later. He did not live thinking that he would be remembered for eternity and his letters placed in the Word of God as we know it. Paul just lived...taught...encouraged...challenged...and loved. 

Somehow, he was able to embrace his humanity. Many that I have the privilege of counseling struggling with admitting their contribution to the issues that bring them to my office. Gently, over time, they are challenged to embrace the truth of how they participate in the problem. For some, they are not able to see their part. Others, respond with remorse, repentance and move forward to healthier behaviors. 

Any shame Paul experienced was repeatedly brought back to the truth of what God's grace had provided for Him. The same is true in the healing process. Reminding my clients of God's grace and steadfast love will always be a part of the journey they are in. must be a part of our daily walk as well. There are times we need to remember the place God's love has rescued us from. Paul reminded himself of his moral littleness. Then... accompany it with the reminder of God's work of Grace. (Vs. 10) Paul goes on to say, "But by the Grace of God I am what I am..." This practice does not mean we are without responsibility. It just means we are aware. Aware of our participation with our humanity and aware of God's gift of grace. 

As a result, like Paul, we labour all the more to allow grace to have its way in the daily interactions and tasks that life brings. Embrace your humanity today with the help of God's grace. Great hope and freedom awaits you on the other side of this kind of honesty.

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