"Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame." Psalms 34:5
Have you ever made such a fool of yourself that you vowed never to show your face in public ever again? Perhaps you were so embarrassed that you were sure that shade of red in your face would never fade? There goes the chance you could ever wear pink again. You don't want to clash!
I'll share my most embarrassing moment with you and see if you relate. At the end of church service a few years back, the praise team had been waiting in the wings to sing just before the closing. This was right after our major Easter production in which Jesus had passed that way six nights in a row covered in stage blood in order to get cleaned up for the resurrection scene. Little did I know that I had brushed against some of the spilled blood, and it was all over the back of my white pants! I actually sang the entire song right there on the platform, in front of God and everyone! I had some awesome friends escort me off the stage to try to hide my predicament somewhat. When I looked in the mirror afterward, I was mortified! I have yet to top that act!
Sometimes embarrassment cuts much deeper than just a silly faux pas. Coupled with hurt, abuse, or secret sins, it can morph into its ugly cousins Humiliation and Shame. More detrimental than trying to get over an awkward moment in one's life is being ashamed to the point of self loathing because of something you have done or something that has been done or said to you in your past. Don't discount the power of words. They can cause profound and lasting damage! Perhaps you have covered up some deep, hidden secrets in your life that would devastate you if anyone found out. What about the humiliation of a physical abnormality that sets one apart from what is perceived as normal or acceptable? Why do we worry so much about what others think? Whatever the cause, too many people find themselves in a state of emotional disgrace and are at a loss as to how to break free.
Unfortunately, some never do escape this state. They only find their shame growing and deepening until the only way they know how to cope is to become numb through some destructive vice, such as alcohol, food, or sexual addiction. It does nothing to solve the problem, but only exacerbates the situation. Often, some also display a fanciful façade to disguise their inner turmoil. It is easier to cope when you can keep that throbbing wound hidden and not reveal the truth to anyone. Or, worse, others might crawl deep inside themselves and close out the world around them entirely. While I am describing extreme cases here, I believe we all carry the potential for shame to some degree, ranging from merely a casual discomfort concerning something about ourselves to the extent of a major crisis of identity.
The good news is that there is hope for every one of us, no matter how deeply any of us have experienced shame in our lives. Jesus Christ came to reconcile us to the Father and to remove our disgrace. Because of the redemptive work He did for us on the cross, we can stand tall with wholeness and confidence, knowing that we are completely forgiven and free if we believe in Him. We can be assured that His grace is sufficient to heal and restore all that has been broken in our lives. He longs to heal all the wounds and sooth all the pain. He understands all the hurts as well as the mistakes, and He is able to completely comfort and restore us no matter how bad we think it is. We can shake loose those chains that have kept us bound to a less than satisfying life and be free to live a fulfilling and rich life.
If you do not know this Christ, or you have been distant from Him for awhile, then buckle up your seatbelts, Folks; you are about to embark on the adventure of your life! When you accept the love of Jesus Christ and His free gift of grace, you can be sure that you are a 100%, bona fide, accepted, and loved child of God, just as you are! He did all the work, so all it takes on your part is faith. He came to give you abundant life, and once you let go of the cloud of shame that has drained the life out of you all this time, be ready for freedom and fullness of life you have only dreamed about! When God sets you free, you are free indeed! "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV) You see, He bore ALL of your shame. He took it upon Himself so that you will never have to wrestle that ugly monster inside ever again! It is so gone! When He looks at you, He only sees the righteousness of His Son.
For those who have already embarked on this journey but continue to bear the weight of the burden of shame, you need only to dispel all lying thoughts that are keeping you bound by replacing them with the truth in God's Word. He has promised that when you "look to Him, your face will never be covered in shame." (Psalms 34:5)
Here are some reminders for you:
I am the apple of God's eye.
I am created in God's image.
I am loved and accepted by God just as I am.
I am a princess. I am a child of the Most High God.
I may not be perfect, but I am forgiven. I am not condemned, but God is pleased with me and approves of me.
I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, and I have strong faith.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
He will continue to work on me, and I am growing and improving every day.
I am destined to live in victory and I am more than a conqueror.
God has given me His righteousness, and He has made me worthy.
I have peace with God.
My mind is at peace.
I am full of joy.
I have a sound mind.
God made me exactly the way He wanted me to be. I accept myself and feel good about who I am.
He has endowed me with wondrous gifts and talents.
God created me to enjoy life, and I will do just that.
I am free indeed!
I am simply radiant!