Jesus, The Cure To Our Shame

Jesus, The Cure To Our Shame

We all struggle with our secret shame. We know we are less than we should be.

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All human beings carry it wherever they travel and even when they sit: this black suitcase of shame.

I feel it weighing on me often, a heavy insufficiency.

Around noon on the day I am writing this, I stood in a long line snaking between black dividers and stuck my phone into my backpack.

And I stood there, in a crowd, yet alone.

Surveying the people around me and thinking, I wondered if anyone was surveying me. And I got a bit anxious. That silent companion slithered onto my shoulder: my shame. Shame always seems to come up when the noise dies down, when we are left to contemplate ourselves and to worry how others contemplate us (Which they actually do little of — we are far more concerned with ourselves than anyone else is.)

'Google' defines shame as a "painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior."

Our souls yearn back for the garden, for glory.

We know we are less than we should be.

Insufficiency is quite the burden to bear. 'If they only saw inside..' 'No one could fully know me and love me.'

And so the shame of sin and failure steadily fills our assigned suitcase, and we attempt to ignore it. Nobody can see our suitcase, normally, so no one mentions it. We wonder if others have them too. But we could never admit it first.

Guilt is one thing. Often guilt is a correct reaction.

But shame... constant shame is despair, a feeling of un-belonging and flimsy fraudulence. We feel we might be unmasked for what we are at any moment: weak.

But friend, in our greatest weaknesses and deepest shame, in the midnight of our days, there is One who cries with us, and yet is strong beyond measure, come to save us. He left high heavenly courts to be born on a musty straw floor. He refused to command angels to rescue Him as He was brutally nailed to a Roman cross. For our sakes, He humbled himself to reconcile our shamed selves back to the Father, taking the penalty upon Himself, He who knew no sin, who knew no shame. Jesus took on all the penalties for the sins at the twisting roots of our shame.

"He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds, you have been healed." [1]

Healed. Set free. Jesus, wounded to heal us. How crazy. Crazy love. Love that you can barely believe.

So if you are weary and weighted down by your imperfect efforts to perform and achieve and be good (as I often am, when I forget to rest in Jesus), Jesus holds out a gift, a yoke that is easy and a burden that is light. [2] He knows we are weak. He made us and knows us better than we know ourselves.

Every sin we've committed, we've committed against Him.

We spit on the cross of Christ, profaning His death, when we choose rebellion.

The Wounded Healer died in our place, if we will surrender our lives to Him... Lives that were never really ours.

In Him, you are fully known and fully loved. Jesus will forgive you every sin and throw your shame suitcase out into the woods with a loud yell.

"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." [3]

The King has come. Rejoice in Him and forget yourself. We must carry the suitcase no longer, but may be clothed in white, in the clothes of Christ. Buried with Him to be raised with Him, dying to self and self's shame to live to Him. [4]

Jesus, Jesus, how I love you. "Oh, for grace to trust you more."

Worthy is the Lamb. And now that we know the beauty of our Savior, how can we even steal a moment to stare inwardly any longer? The inner darkness and failure vanishes in a bright, hot light. In the pure Radiance of the Savior. Our shadows slip away as our faces reflect His light. We wade into the brilliance, leaving behind our every effort, good and bad, every filthy rag. [5]

He is worthy to be worshipped, to be glorified, to be looked upon now and into eternity.

Him, the Fairest of Ten Thousand.

"I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are the answer. Before your face questions die away." [6]

Passages cited:

[1] 1 Peter 2:24

[2] Matthew 11:30

[3] Psalm 34:4-5

[4] Romans 6:4

[5] Isaiah 64:6

[6] C. S. Lewis, "Til We Have Faces"

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I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist, Because God Did Not Intend For Women To Be Equals

It is OK for me to not want to be equivalent with a man.

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To start off, I am not writing this to bash feminists or get hate messages. I am simply writing this to state why I do not perceive myself as a feminist.

March is International Women's Month and that is what has got me thinking about how I view myself as a young woman in the 21st century. I enjoy every day getting to soak up the world as a young lady, particularly in the South.

If you know me, then you know that I love and utterly adore Jesus. He is so perfect. He is everything. He is my whole life. Some people might say that I am a "Bible-thumper" or someone who has had too much Kool-aid and maybe I am, but I know who my Creator is and that He died for me, and that is all that matters.

In my young age, I loved to just sit in church with my parents and absorb all that God would deliver. As I have grown up, I have ventured off and joined a church that is different than my parents, so the responsibility falls more on me, but I love that. Since this era of independence began, I have thoroughly enjoyed taking ownership of my faith.

I spend a lot of time chatting with God, worshipping Him in all kinds of ways, and just diving deeper into His Word. Through all of this growth as a Christian, I have learned a lot, but something I have learned is a concept that some may not agree with, which does not surprise me.

I do not believe God meant for women and men to be equal.

There, I acknowledged the elephant in the room.

It is a shocker, I know, but I have some Biblical evidence to back up this belief that I have.

Let us begin in Genesis. God created man and then he created woman. This was two separate occurrences and order is key. He created Adam and then Eve.

Jesus treated women with grace and kindness, do not get me wrong. I mean just look at how He treated the woman at the well, the one who used all of her expensive perfume to cleanse His feet and not to mention His own biological mother! He has a truly unique place in his heart for women, but He also has special intentions for us in the world and in the family setting.

We are to submit to our husbands.

We are to be energetic, strong, and a hard worker.

We are to be busy and helpful to those in need.

We are to be fearless.

All of this is explicitly laid out by God in Proverbs 31.

We are not to be equal to our male counterparts. Jesus does not lay out the Proverbs 31 man, but He rather lays out the Proverbs 31 woman.

A husband or man is to be the head of the household as Christ is to the church.

A man is to love a woman so deeply that represents how he loves himself.

A man is to leave his father and mother.

Women and men are not equal in God's eyes, but they each represent Him in their own ways that the other needs.

If we were all equal, we would not need one another and therefore we would not need God. I am so thankful that we were not created equal. I am so thankful that God is so great that He could not just create only man or woman to represent His image. He is so perfect.

So, you see I am not a feminist, and it is OK.

It is acceptable for me to have this belief that God intended for men to lead women. It is also okay for people to have differing opinions. Writing this was not easy, but I know that not all people agree.

To feminists and those that are not, you are allowed to believe whatever you wish but have evidence to back it up.

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My View On Religion Changed When I Got Closer To God

Understanding that God loves me and protects me has encouraged me to be honest with myself and the choices I make.

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