Friday, February 19, 2010

For Shame

You know that disconcerting feeling you get in your stomach when you realize you've ended up some place that you didn't really want to be? Perhaps you've become someone you don't want to be? You've done something you desperately want to forget about?

Yep, that's shame.

There are lots of aspects of aspects to shame. Not all shame is accompanied by guilt. Not all shame is bad. If you are acting in ignorance it is possible to blunder about and warrant shame. If you consciously engage in activities that go against your belief system, you can certainly warrant shame and accumulate guilt.

Lately, I've had the blessing of some quiet time to reflect on a few facets of my life. With fresh eyes I've been able to realize how inappropriately I've behaved. My actions weren't lining up with my acknowledged belief system. Knowing this consciously now, leads me to that feeling like I need to vomit. I've felt shame. With that realization I've had to ask myself: What next? Where do I go from here?.

Come to your right mind, and sin no more. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
-- 1 Corinthians 15:34

When you look for answers, you find them. Get your mind right, leave that place where you aren't who you want to be? Step away from the path that leads you away from your salvation. Like a surgeon, cut away the dead flesh in your life that you can save the rest. Come to your right mind!!!

The last part is the real kicker. If you're struggling with that decision, remember that even people who don't know God can do the right thing. If the unbeliever can walk right with their fellow man, how much easier should it be for a God-follower? Which tells me this shame is well-placed and appropriate.

But because I am a Believer, I don't need to wallow in my shame. I don't need to be dragged down with guilt. I just need to "sin no more". Which is way harder than it sounds.

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