In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Luke 8:43-44 MSG
Shame. It’s got to be one of the enemy’s greatest weapons. It keeps us paralyzed in fear. “What if ‘they’ knew what I have done?” “I have fallen so many times. No one would be surprised.” “She has it so together. She would be shocked and sickened by the mess that I am.”
Newsflash: WE ALL HAVE THINGS IN OUR LIVES THAT WE ARE ASHAMED OF.
Maybe it happened when you were in high school – the one night stand that led to an unwanted pregnancy and eventually to an abortion.
Maybe it happened this week – the flirtatious comments at work that led to a lunch meeting, the risqué emails that were exchanged, that led to you working late and you know where it’s headed.
Maybe it’s been happening for years – you were prescribed the pills but somehow now you can’t seem to get through a day without them. It’s not so much the pain, but they keep you from feeling anything.
Maybe it started as an innocent drink with friends and turned into an addiction. You had a drink a couple of times a week and then every night. Then suddenly, every couple of hours you find yourself needing a drink. It hasn’t interfered with work, so you justify it and brush it off as a bad habit.
Whatever your shame, mark it down that the enemy wants you to keep it a secret. Shame isolates. It justifies. Most of all, shame keeps us from getting the help we need. At the core of every shameful experience we have in life, is a gaping hole that can only be filled with a relationship with Christ.
Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? I mean, just say “yes” to Jesus and everything will be ok. Quite the contrary. When you say “yes” to Jesus, the enemy will without a doubt turn up the heat. It will get harder. The temptation, the addiction, the failures will surface stronger than ever before.
Fair? No. Reality? Yes.
You can count on it. The extreme life of faith is one with peaks and valleys. Once Jesus has your heart, the devil tries to distract you with all the things that you struggle with. Then he tells you that you must “sneak up behind” Jesus and ask for forgiveness, because Jesus would never want to be associated with a woman as dirty as you.
The devil is a liar!
Jesus did not come and die on the cross for those who have it all together. He came to put those of us who are falling apart back together. Perfect people don’t need a Savior. They need a good dose of reality and the touch of the Only Perfect Person to set foot on planet earth.
Honestly ask yourself these questions: Does shame have a grip on you? What are you ashamed of? Jesus is waiting for you to ask for His help. Will you reach out to Him? Will you accept the help that you need?
Dear Father God, please help us to accept the fact that Jesus paid it ALL. On the cross He paid for all of our sins. They are nailed there for all eternity. Please help us to rest in Your grace! In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.