I Don’t recall ever bringing a message about dealing with our shame until yesterday’s sermon at Crestview. Once the Lord put it on my mind, the subject was inescapable. Every time I thought of going in another direction a new truth would present itself to direct me back to the subject that God had surely designed for me to share. A large number of members and guests have indicated that they want a copy for themselves and for loved ones. Many others will direct someone to the internet to listen, view, or read the message. All three options exist. My prayer is that God’s pure message will get past the limitations of my mind and words with the help of the Holy Spirit. People need to hear God and not me.
The key idea that led me to the message is to compare God’s love reaching toward us by sending Jesus into the world with our own need to have meaningful relationships with others. God’s word always connects our relationship with God with our relationships with one another. Remember how Jesus said the greatest commandment was to love God and then quickly he asserted the second was to love others?
So what does shame have to do with this? We readily understand that Jesus came to die for our sins, but we often do not realize that he also wants to take away our shame. Many have accepted God’s forgiveness for sin while continue to be burdened down with shame. A heavy load of shame kills relationships. Sometimes shame causes one to feel unworthy of being loved. A very unhealthy self image can develop that cuts one off from joy and produces self destructive and relationship destroying behaviors. The Savior who came to save us wants us to say “so long” to shame. After all, He despised and scorned it. (Hebrews 12:2)