Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour and Wednesday’s Word! This week’s blog was/is inspired by the many Transformers who have just completed the first part of Transform, Living Fearlessly, Forgiven and Forgiving! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and let’s go tie some knots in our faith about some self-forgiveness, and considering that we just celebrated Resurrection Sunday, it’s a great reminder that we need over and over and over again.
Have you ever done something or said something and then hit yourself upside the head, beat yourself up and wished you hadn’t done it, or said it? We’ve all heard the phrase, “actions speak louder than words,” right? When someone says they are sorry for something they did or said to you, you know they are genuinely sorry if they don’t repeat the action, right? But for those of us stuck in a cycle of repeating things we wish we didn’t repeat, something forms on the inside; a cycle of shame. This one’s a tough one! Why? Guilt can be and has been atoned for and therefore goes away. For example, you get a speeding ticket, pay the fine, or go to traffic school, and voila, it’s done, gone! Guilt addresses what we did/do wrong, while shame, well, that’s a bigger monster screaming “What’s wrong with you?” It’s internal so therefore requires a deeper, different work.
Over the last few weeks, we have been working through the Root of Guilt and Shame and I have been incredibly overwhelmed with thanksgiving as I’ve listened to people share the things that have held them in shame and then I’ve watched many of them break free from that captivity! Talk about a thrill, a humbling, heart-squeezing, mind-boggling and vindicating thrill!
But there are still those who are having a difficult time letting go of their shame; after all, they’ve walked with it as a second skin for much of their life. How does one who is convinced of their shame break free? We’ve got to get it out, share it and talk to ourselves like we would talk to someone we love! Could this be another reason God commanded us to love our neighbor as our self?
Shame is the clog in the pipe of the heart that blocks us from believing that God really does love us and keeps us from the four points of forgiveness, the four points that cover ANY and EVERY sin we’ve ever committed in all our yesterdays or will commit in any of our tomorrows.
Psalm 103:12 tells us as far as the east is from the west…and right above it in verse 11, we read that His love for us is deeper than any ocean and higher than the heavens, which in my humble summation equals north from south. So if we were to draw those four points, just four dots representing the east/west, and the deepest ocean and the heavens, we would have what? THE CROSS!
The Cross is the highest form of atonement for any sin either heaped upon us or that which we heap upon others, including self, and if we have unresolved guilt, often unknowingly this creates a cycle of shame. What happened on the Cross was meant to keep us wrapping ourselves in the rags of shame. Shame is a self-harming attitude manifesting externally in all our relationships, choices and behavior. It actually becomes selfish. Look at the last two letters of shame!
The enemy wants us to clothe ourselves in shame and that truth in and of itself should have us looking to the four points of forgiveness, the Cross where it all was paid for. What garments of shame do you need to take off and leave at the cross?