To believe in my shame over my God is to prevent myself from being who He’s created me to be. God made me a thinker, one who contemplates. I meditate and muse and ruminate over life with my whole heart and spirit. I deeply consider my world and life as I walk with Christ. As a result I am an author, able to communicate these thoughts well. But if I had remained affixed to the shames of my life, I would have never been any of these. Quite the contrary, I would be unable to enter into His mind about me.
My question is what in your life is more about your shame than God’s thoughts of you? Where does shame have preeminence in your thoughts and heart. Does shame prevent you from accessing the Life of Christ? Do you, as I have, have thoughts that exalt themselves above the Most High? Gulp!
As I have written, for most of my life I’ve resisted what I’ve seen as a crippling limitation, that I’m not well read, highly educated, nor academic. Rather than seeking God on this matter, I defined it through personal shame. I believed my thoughts of shame and labeled myself with these. Essentially I imprisoned my life and heart with these erroneous beliefs. I cut the knees out from underneath my life by holding to my fears rather than seeking God’s voice.
Reading into My Shame
My inability to thrive in reading felt very much like I was handicapped. But this painful wounding has been transformed in my thinking. I see it now as God’s saving grace. The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I see this restriction as His keeping. I wasn’t thrust into academia to sharpen my powers of deduction through knowledge. I just didn’t have it. So how’s this good? I’ve had to learn to lean and wait for God to reveal things to me. I’ve had to sharpen my listening and hone my questioning in order to understand. I listen continually for His Voice and ask Him many questions, because He is my Teacher. And because I rely on Him, He’s opened up to me a wealth of Wisdom. I have to hear it, because I’m just not going to read volumes of books to gather the information.
Learning and Hearing
Where shame said I was stupid and inept, God said something totally different. He chose to make me read for the purpose of hearing, not mastering facts just because I can. I’m a hearer! I’ve been crippled into learning by hearing. And what has this made of me? Incredibly rich! I can’t bombard you with facts, I can only tell you what I’ve heard. It was the salvation of my mind to make me dependent on Him! And what I called a curse for most of my life was actually the fulfillment of my prayers to know Him.
I’m not saying that education is worthless, because I’m awed at what people know. Men like Oswald Chambers, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald, and T. Austin-Sparks express deep spiritual truths with the Spirit’s anointed Life. This is awe-inspiring! But what I can say after reading many commentaries, is that there’s a lot of pontificating gray matter posing as God, rather than actual fellowship with the Most High.
God’s Crippling to Himself
So let me end with this. Could it be possible our Creator cripples us to save us? I know we all have limitations that cause us shame – that’s just human nature. And though we might try to drown the evidence of our handicapping in a sea of compensation, it is there nonetheless. It’s that painful boundaries we feel restricted by, and about which we probably have the most emotion. If we surrender to Him as the setter of all limits, then He can turn us around and show us our greatest liberation. What once was shameful and sickening will be revealed as the way God hemmed us in to Himself.
Looking at our shame with His eyes may reveal something less than shameful. What I’m talking about is embracing the Lord’s wounding to release His purpose and plans for my life. Whatever that wounding which caused me shame was and wherever it’s taken me, I accept both the course He chose and the way my responses to it affected my soul. I own it! Now He is able to reveal His Divine order and purpose that has extreme significance for life and living.
Now, I could stay stuck in a life of resistance and futile effort to overcome God’s own forming of me. But in the process of correcting the wrongs I blame Him for, I would miss Him. Life is to be received by Him, from Him and through Him. It might not be in line with my design but it is perfectly in His.