To live in shame is to build frozen walls around the spiritual heart, surrendering to the immovable, suffocating curse of death. To kiss shame goodbye is to melt the walls with a deep-burning intimacy that only the Father can give. While the world around us begs us to stay in the place of shame (faux control), we are beckoned into a wall-less freedom that allows us to experience joy without shame. What are you shameful of? A broken relationship? An unspeakable act you promised to never mention? Your upbringing? Whatever it is, the lie is that if we continue to live complacently in our guilt, the shame will never surface. However, the reality is, the shame is the underlying motive in every action. It’s in the arm’s length we keep people, it’s in the distance we create in order to avoid life-giving community. We hope that if we protect ourselves from the embarrassment shame can bring, then we will protect the people around us from being embarrassed for us. Shame blocks the understanding of divine friendships that will love us in our shame, and will love us out of it.
You might ask, “Who could understand?” but we rarely consider that relationships aren’t built on understanding, but on faith. We conclude, then, that if no one can understand, then no one can help. But, we are invited to a place where peace surpasses our general understanding of the way things work, and this includes relationships.
Perhaps you have been hurt by someone who proved to you that your shame was worth having; perhaps you’re led to believe you should be ashamed for someone else. In any case, a life outside of shame frees us from the need to manipulate our emotions and the emotions of others. Consider that the most intimate acts of worship is to accept the kiss that melts away the guilt and shame we were never supposed to carry. Consider the shame you feel is not really for you. Consider a Savior who took our shame so that we don’t have to be ruled by it.