Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
Shame is such a powerful piece of the human psyche. So many people carry shame about themselves to some degree. I believe that shame and fear are two crippling emotional states that are so hard to shake and keep us from serving God fully.
I came across this short verse and it opened my mind and heart to see that in God there is no shame. David is the author of this Psalm. When I think of David and shame, I realize that David was open to God. He would lay open his sin, shame, guilt, and fear before God. Myself, I tend to attempt to hide my sin, shame, guilt, and fear. After a period of holding on to these I realize that God knows. Why do I continue to hold and hide these things? If David can present them to God; so can I.
David really made it simple. Look to God. Not only do we look to God and reveal our shame; we become radiant. I believe we have the radiance of God reflecting off of us. He shines His light into our hearts and souls. He rids us of our shame. Because we have presented ourselves before God humbly, he has cleansed us.
One step beyond just turning our face toward God is the fact that we have Jesus who stands with us and for us. David had a deep relationship with God; however, the savior had not yet come. How much more do we have than David? Jesus takes on our sin, guilt, shame, and fear.
Is it as simple as just turning our face toward God? It can be. It really depends on the state of our heart. There are times where I turn toward God, but not from my heart. I go through the motions but my pain is not strong enough for me to lay myself bare before him. There are other times where I say, “Enough is enough!” This is where I can turn toward him and my shame is erased. Many times, it takes my being in the presence of a community of believers. When I feel the grace and love from other wounded healers, I feel the presence of God.
The community allows me to walk alongside those who have walked a similar road. I am able to see where God has cleansed them and know that I will receive the same. The community also holds me accountable in a non-shaming way. The community becomes an extension of God in a human way.
The challenge this week is to look at your shame and present it before God. Turn towards him either by making the “Enough is enough!” statement or by joining in the community of wounded healers. Do not carry the burden any longer.
1. What shame are you carrying right now? (It helps to stop and write this down so that you can identify and connect with your shame)
2. When you have presented your shame before God in the past, what resulted for you?
3. What has held you back from bringing this before God? What is getting in the way?
4. What is the source of your shame?
5. What lie do you believe about yourself that is feeding this shame?
6. This week, find a community of believers who are wounded healers. Present your shame before them and watch the grace of God unfold in your heart.
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