Healing Shame

 In Pastor Jeff's Blog

At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. – Genesis 3:7

Shame comes from the story we tell ourselves about ourselves.

We know the truth about ourselves. The whole truth. And we fear that if others knew it too, if they saw us “naked”, vulnerable and fully exposed, they would judge us and reject us. Deep down we believe ourselves to be unworthy of love and acceptance, and so we hide. We cover ourselves. We hide behind masks of competence, achievement and self-righteousness.But Jesus came into this world to “seek and to save the lost”, those who are hiding in shame. And by his words and actions (and ultimately his death and resurrection) Jesus writes a different story for our lives. You are worthy, forgiven, loved. You are a child of God.

By entrusting ourselves to that story and the One who authored it (which is the definition of faith) we are empowered and encouraged to be our true selves – people who fail but who are not failures. People who make mistakes but who are not defined by our mistakes. Sinners who are simultaneously saints by grace.

We were made for intimacy with God and one another. As long as we live in shame, as long as we hide ourselves behind masks, we cannot experience the intimacy for which we were created.

So, come out of hiding. Entrust yourself to the story of grace. Live unashamed.

Jeff Marian serves as lead pastor at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN

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