We can be in shame if we look at life situations through the eyes of self rather than God. I have found this to be the case in my life. I believe this happens when our personal shame is triggered by our living situation. It is like one feeds on the other. I mean all shame is triggered by our living situations but sometimes we are triggered by shame just because life is what it is. Our current circumstance produces shame, even if it isn’t shameful. The end result of this shame is the robbing of our joy and life.
Shame takes the air out of the room. It leads our life and heart into that deep sense of loss. The loss may be simply perceived and not real, but shame is the result. Shame is chaos in the heart. It is something that can wake us up in the middle of the night and prevent us from sleeping. Inevitably shame brings extremes into play. “I will NEVER…! I ALWAYS…! Things will NEVER change!” Shame is a cloud over our heart and mind that blankets and covers our living out the reality of Christ.
Shame skews our vision of reality but the Spirit of God can walk us out of it. The process is to receive His mind and thoughts about ALL things. It’s living vulnerable to His assessments rather than leaning on our own. Easier said than done!
Abandoning ourselves to the mind of Christ is hugely fruitful and life-giving, but daunting for sure. We lose control and unmoor our lives from any semblance of power. But our Father sees, knows and understands our living reality. I am super myopic, like looking at my life through a sippy cup straw. God, on the other hand, see the whole of LIFE. Leaning into my own view has the potential to produce shame, just because I don’t understand or see.
Christ Despised the Shame
Think about Christ on the Cross—those rugged nails, thorny crown, rough wood beams and all those insults and humiliations. This would be overwhelming to say the least. This situation was isolating and consuming. On that same cross none of us would see anything but that moment in time, bar a supernatural grace. Who of us wouldn’t be absorbed in that moment, but Christ gazed and leaned into His Father’s view.
When most of us are in shame we attempt to cloth or hide. Our Savior, on the other hand, was splayed naked, abhorring the shame. His gaze was higher not momentary. “…who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:2 HCSB)
The reality is Adam, and all his children, cover their nakedness…while Christ came to be crucified naked (uncovered, exposed to all) on that cross. He had no covering, He faced it all exposed and UNASHAMED.
Christ had no veil to cover, He only had His gaze on the Father in His situation. A veil is often our shame and this only obscures our view of our Father. “And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from [one degree of] glory to [even more] glory, which comes from the Lord, [who is] the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18 AMP
“Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Shame is a hiding place. We can cover ourselves in it, & not see the real place His piercing eyes have penetrated to shine His light on. I can lay all kinds of things to my charge…as if…I…could have done better—pride! And it’s not the place He’s looking. It’s my overreach He’s after. The Lord begins to speak, to open a vista, to show me something of Him, & my overreach runs ahead. All must be in step, He is the movement, the Life Breath. This is a symphony. We really don’t know the rich display of His Will &… Read more »
The Lord is meant to have the only ‘say’ in my heart. The Spirit brings us to this, & attests to it. This is what our deepest heart craves. Shame is a swamp I’ve waded into…the mess got worse. To enter His view & reality can take a process we don’t understand. That’s part of what sets us free…it gets rid of all my shame intruded with. “Living vulnerable to His assessments”, no safer place to be. The desired relationship yearns for my constant abandonment…into His understanding & view…that frees me from my oh so limited & tainted thoughts &… Read more »
Powerful word here, John. Thank you for sharing the truth of what shame does to us.
And what an explosively powerful word picture you painted in this statement: “seeing our life through a sippy cup straw”!! How myopic we are in our view when God see the big picture and knows the end from the beginning. That’s so hugely encouraging!
Thank you for faithfully sharing these daily messages with us!