There’s guilt and then there’s shame. There is recognition of your act of wrongdoing and then there is shame. There is confrontation of sin and then there is shaming. “Shame” is a painful emotion experienced more intensely than guilt. It can be incapacitating and is sometimes the birthplace of addictions that are futile attempts to dull the shame. The original shame came from the story of Genesis chapter 3. Specifically verse 7 says that after they ate the “forbidden fruit” and broke their promise to God “the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew they were naked…” It’s something like a bad dream where you see yourself naked standing in front of a fully dressed crowd. Shame is that feeling of combined embarrassment, exposure, and humiliation. Sometimes it’s real from something we’ve actually done. Sometimes it is an emotion that manipulative people try to foist upon us to control us. In either case God’s plan in Jesus is to take away our shame and cover us with the “perfect-ness” that has been won by Jesus.
Paul says “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 10.11)
If you were exposed to a crowd and someone appeared and dressed you the finest clothes, your shame would evaporate and you would receive admiration in its place. This is the spiritual gift of Jesus. This is what God does. When our shame is real, the forgiveness and grace of God cover us and the shame is evaporated. When our shame comes from others attempting to manipulate us, we have the confidence to display God’s promise of being covered in the finest clothes – the grace of God. Hey, you look good in grace and there’s no shame in that!
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