Shame ~ Part 2


Identity fraud is a mess. All the phone calls and proof you have to submit, all the password changes, checking the bank and credit reports, what a nightmare! I’ve never had to deal with this, thank goodness but I know people that have. Months and months of frustration. You have no idea where they even got your information, how they do it, but it happens all the time, every day. 

Sin and shame do the same thing. Day after day it steals our identities. Maybe not even all at once, a little here, a little there. Next thing we know, we are this person we don’t recognize anymore, hiding secrets we don’t want others to see because if they knew the real truth, the ugliness of what we’ve done in our past, they wouldn’t accept us. They would see us differently. And so, we hide it all. Continuing on with our boxes of shame, hidden in those darkest corners. Walking in an identity that is not our own. Certainly not in the identity of who God has called us to be.

I have struggled with this deeply most of my life. Afraid to deal with the mess of emotions, and sin from my past. Afraid that I won’t be accepted. Afraid that others will only ever see the stains of filth from all that I’ve done wrong. And when I seek the Lord, I even try to hide it from Him. Not wanting God to turn his back on me because of all my ugly sin. Knowing that He is holy and pure, He cannot be tarnished by me. 

If you read my last post, Shame – Part 1, I talk about a woman that I can only imagine felt the same way. I mentioned how I resonate with her on such intimate levels. I am her. The Samaritan woman. She hides from others. She doesn’t want to be seen or ridiculed. She doesn’t want anyone to know her secrets or her past. She wears the identity of a woman not worthy of being accepted. Of being loved. 

In John chapter 4, it’s starts with Jesus going through Samaria. This was not by chance. He was on a mission. The whole story is amazing because Jews did not associate with Samaritans, also the fact that He was a man talking to a woman like her, a woman that people shunned, a woman so tainted. Yet, Jesus sought her her out. He knew that He would meet her at the well. He already knew her sin, her secrets and who she was, and yet still, He sought her out. Yes, the shunned, unwanted, tainted woman. In fact, God breathed her very story into the word of God, gave His son this very important mission. A mission that would give others, like me, a hope. An identity change. 

He was gentle with his approach. He took care with her sensitive heart when confronting her sin and shame. She tried to hide her sin from Him but He knew all of it.  

Here’s the thing, that ugly box of shame we hide…. Its never hidden from God. He knows all of it. Right down to every last dirty detail. He knows the emptiness we feel, how alone we feel, how much of an outcast we can feel. He knows how deeply it hurts when others look at us and judge a situation they know absolutely nothing about. He knows our longing to just want to be whole and clean, to be accepted, to be loved. He knows just how much we do not want to have to hide behind a fake identity anymore.  He knows how heavy the burden of shame can be. And friend, He knows how tired we get from carrying around all of the junk in that little box. 

And just like He met this woman in all her sin, He meets us too. Exactly where we are. At our well of brokennessAt our ugliest, filthiest, dirtiest moments. Where our shame runs the deepest, that is where He meets us. He doesn’t care what’s in that box. He doesn’t care how tainted we are. He won’t raise His eyebrows, He won’t ridicule or berate you, He won’t shake his head at you. He will go out of His way to come to you. Gently, lovingly and quietly sit on the floor with you and help you open that box of shame and clean it out. 

He offered this woman a new identity. He saw what her box of shame contained, just as He sees ours, and still, He offered her something new. Something real. Something everlasting. 

Friends, no matter what we hide, no matter what kind of tattered, ugly past we have, no matter what we’ve done, we can have a new identity too. We can have a new identity in Christ! We don’t have to do anything to earn it. That is the precious gift of grace that He offers! Sin and shame washed away by the living water. Him. We don’t have to hold on to the past any longer. We don’t have to worry about what others think of us. The fact is, the creator of the universe chooses to seek you out, with a purpose, just as He did for that Samaritan woman that everyone else shunned. Time and time again, at every well of brokenness. No matter how many times. He will still meet you, where you’re at, and each time He will offer you the identity back that He has called for you to walk in. Get rid of that box and walk in who He has called you to be.  

That woman. She was washed clean, she went on to tell everyone about Jesus.

The next time the enemy reminds you of your past, or you hear someone talking about your ugly sin; you hold your head high, and remember this woman. This woman that God so lovingly sought out with such beautiful purpose. The woman He accepted. She was so important to Him, that He put her story in His word. You are that important to Him too. 

“Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”

Psalm 31:5

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