Death To Shame

Nothing is so widely experienced and so universally hidden as Shame. Shame stings from the shadows, it's like arsenic to our soul! The Committee (Satan and demons) has mastered the process of collecting and storing up our personal sins, feelings of always doing or saying the wrong things, painful labels pinned on us and unbearable events from our past. Then at the very moment that our soul flickers with sense of hope, The Committee opens that vial with our name on it and dispenses a small dose of shame. One strategically placed drop can dampen the beginnings of joy. Shame clouds God's vision for a richer future and hope is swallowed up by a sense of our failure or inadequacy. Here's some great news, all of this has God more than a little ticked off. God grieves over your shame...and He hates what it's doing to you. Hang on, how God deals with it is nothing less than wild and amazing!

Secrecy is shames strength and isolation is the cousin of secrecy. Shame may be impacting your entire life or just a particular area of your life but shame needs to be forced from the shadows. Get this in your hands: Shame can't hide if you refuse to participate! The greatest invitation of God is to "draw near", step out from the dark, drag shame with you, and give it to God. Now watch God work! He grabs a bucket of true Holy water. God "washes our body" and even does a deep cleanse or our "evil conscience". But he's not done. God ceremonially takes all that is impure and "treads it under His foot". There's more. He gathers up the crushed sin puts it in a sack, ties the sack to a large rock, and pitches it "into the depths of the sea". God then asks us "do you see that"...we say "NO, I can't see anything". Just then we look back over our shoulder to catch a glimpse of God–He's just smiling and nodding. What a mind blowing, soul liberating and deeply loving Father!

Take a risk. The moments of trembling with your first step into the light will be drowned out by waves of God's peace. Now your life is germinating in the soil of grace. Joy begins to grow and just when you see another threat coming your way, raise this shout at enemy armies, "I have set my face like a flint, and I know I will not be put to shame". Never underestimate two important things about God: How much he loves you and how much he grieves over your shame. There will be plenty of times when shame tries to return but God hoses us down with His cleansing yet again. Funny thing, God keeps repeating that sin stomp and sack toss into the deepest seas. If it seems like God gets a kick out of striking a death blow to shame it's because He really does. Step forward right now, "hold fast the confession of our hope", God's shower of grace is overwhelming!

Heb. 10:19-23, Micah 7:19, Is. 50:7

Chivalry: Part 13 - First Blush

“...naked and were not ashamed."

Most women like a man who can blush. And most men do everything possible to resist blushing. Blushing signals that we’re not invincible. This is why real men will lead when it comes to admitting that we don’t have it all together. That’s just good ol’ spiritual chivalry. To be vulnerable in front of our wife about our shortcomings and sin is a rare, but manly, character trait. Godly women love men who lead, so go ahead and be the first to blush over sin.

There is something attractive about righteousness. I’m not talking about doing things for the eyes of man or for our own sense of self-worth. I’m referring to those choices that courageously deal with the ugly stuff that is too often left hidden. We all wrestle with what exactly to share with those we love. “Will I be loved and accepted if I were to tell someone the things that are killing me? Would I be left on an emotional island if I were to risk it and share my battles?” For men, the need to get sin into the light of God’s love is critical for health, healing and vitality. Yet too often we fear what will happen if we put our sin out there–will we be hung out to dry? This is particularly risky when it come to being honest with our spouse–men wonder if it’s worth the risk.

But it’s the cost of secrecy we need to consider. Isolation leads to a helpless cycle of frustration and hiddenness. Yes, we need men who can help us offload our sin, but being honest with our wives can introduce to one our greatest allies in our battle for victory. So here’s a bold proposition: Begin to cultivate a relationship with your wife where you are the first to initiate your need for support and encouragement to get victory over sin and the flesh. This isn’t about laying out your dirty laundry. It’s about living in a posture of need.

All it takes is for you to be the first to blush. But make it an ongoing conversation and you won’t, one day, need intervention. Here’s a few categories to blush/converse about.

Basic Needs - Blushing requires letting your wife know what you need to help get victory over temptation. Our sin is not her responsibility, but letting her in on how you’re wired can help her understand her man. Godly women want to understand their man.

Basic Struggles - Your wife needs to know the basic struggles that you face personally. Our wife is a helpmate who has resources and ideas that we didn’t come equipped with. When we share our basic struggles they won’t tend to become debilitating struggles.

Basic Strategies - Letting our wife share in our struggles can be humbling to say the least. But when she has the inside scoop on our challenges and weak spots, she can help us navigate around these tar pits by using her intuition and wisdom. Women can see stuff that men can’t see. 

This is why chivalry needs to be the first to blush. Your woman will find you more attractive than ever imagined.