Shameful, but Accepted

27 05 2006

Shameful, but Accepted

Scripture:
Proverbs 5:21 (NIV) 21 For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and he examines all his paths.

Proverbs 6:16-19 (NIV) 16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.

Romans 8:1-4, 31 (NIV) 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,[a] 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,[b] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.[c] And so he condemned sin in sinful man,[d] 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?


Observations:
We seem to think we live in a world unseen by others.  We lock ourselves in our houses and believe we are alone.  Even driving in our cars, we think we are invisible to others – to the point that we pick our noses without a bit of shame.  When we travel, we sit in motel rooms and watch things on TV that we’d never watch with our families.  We live in a world that allows us to be relatively anonymous and we do not connect our “so-called” private behavior with our true character.

It has been said that our character is who we are when we are alone.

What I eat, what I look at, what I say, what I think, and what I want – especially when I am alone – that’s who I really am.

That is scary.  Especially in light of the text above that says our ways are in full view of God.  Nothing is hidden from His view.  

When I really think about this, when I really realize that I am never alone, and when I understand that God truly knows my heart – that’s when the shame comes.  That’s when I understand that I am weak, unworthy, and without anything to stand on.  I am nothing.

And that’s when Paul comes along and tells me that there is no condemnation in Christ.  God is on my side!


Application:
So, here I am.  Unworthy, ashamed, broken, and condemned by my own life of sin.  There is nothing in me that I can hold up as acceptable.  My character is weak and shameful.  The more I understand God, the better I see myself, and the less credence I give to my own efforts.  That’s when I realize I am nothing without Him.

When I compare myself to others, I look pretty good.  That is, when I compare my outside to their outside.  But when I compare my insides to others outsides, then I start feeling pretty crummy.  So, my only defense is to ignore my true character and seek to change that which I can – my exterior.  I can change my clothes, I can get a better haircut, and I can get more knowledge.  I can improve my grammar, learn to be more socially acceptable – even cool, and I can buy a nicer car – or house.

But when I truly see myself – my inside self – that’s when things get really interesting.

But even my insides I can “fix” and get to the point where I can exceed everyone else.  So what!  That is like being the smartest kid in the dumbest class.  Which I suppose is better than being the dumbest kid in the smartest class.  But really, what’s the difference?  We are all still sixth graders and we are on this journey together.  Whether I am the smartest kid in the dumbest class or the dumbest kid in the smartest class, I still don’t compare to the principal.

That’s the point – really – that is the point!!  I was created to be like God, but because of sin and separation I am so far away from that ideal.  But because of His love for me, I am once again lifted up into His presence.

There is no condemnation for me, because I am in Christ Jesus!


Prayer:
Father God, continue to change me.

gw


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