“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.” -Isaiah 54:4
The thing you need most in your life is to not only love others but to feel loved. We need to bond deeply with others, and this can only happen when you are truly yourself, and the people you’re with are truly themselves. When that happens, God brings together people in amazing ways. God wants to offer you more emotional energy today; God wants to give you the fullness and life of his Holy Spirit today. In the midst of your storms and struggles, you can do everything with joy because you’re deeply connected with your friends and family. The biggest thing that gets in the way of us actually connecting with others is shame. Shame gets in the way. Not guilt, but shame. Guilt is a good thing; it’s outside your body and identity. Guilt says I’m a good person, I did a bad thing. So you simply say I’m going to fix this and I’m going to do it better. Shame says, of course, I did that, of course, I made a mistake; I always do that. I’m never going to be better. I need to hide these things about myself because if people truly saw me, they’d reject me. So guilt says I made a mistake, shame says I am a mistake. Guilt says my actions are unworthy, shame says I am unworthy. Don’t let shame get in the way. Jesus Christ died on the cross, not only to remove your sin; he died to remove your shame so that you could inherit the beloved-ness of being a son or daughter of God.
PRAYER: Thank you, Lord, for guilt. It keeps me in check. Help me not turn my guilt into shame, to prevent me from connecting with others.
REFLECTION: Have you noticed shame getting in the way of your relationships?