Shame, Shame, Shame

The Subject is Shame
…and the amazing things people do with it. There are ways of “Acting Shameless”. Things like perfectionism, controlling others, rage, arrogance, criticism and blame, judgmentalism and moralizing, contempt, patronizing, caretaking, people-pleasing, envy, are often escapes from shame, and the list goes on. However, all these things are just acting, and not at all the same as actually being free of shame. What is it, and what is it like to live without shame as a controlling force in our life and relationships. To build a true self and a good relationship around grace, mercy, happiness, and delight in knowing others, is a much better world to live in.
Come and visit a character from ages ago, back when David was king in Israel, and we can learn about leaving shame behind. His name was Mephibosheth. (Did he go by a nickname?) He was the grandson of the ex-king, Saul, who had died in disgrace and the loss of his kingdom. As a child, he had become crippled in an accident while fleeing his grandfather’s war. Even more crippling, he had now become a shamed pauper. In the biblical text of II Samuel 9, we read that he saw himself as a “dead dog”, especially in the eyes of people who knew about his family’s shame. He even lived in a little town called Lo-Debar, which translated meant “no pasture”, surely a desolate place, but maybe a good place to hide out.
Enter David, the new and popular king, who had also been the best friend of Jonathon, the father of Mephibosheth. David wants to show love to Mephibosheth, for the sake of Jonathon and the great friendship they had experienced. Forward ahead to the banquet hall where the formerly shamed young man is at the table with all of David’s children, treated equally, viewed equally, fully restored as a person of worth.
Paul describes the follower of Christ as, “being justified, without price, by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus”…
We have choices. We can wear the label of shame, or we can assign the label of shame to others, or we can exchange the label of shame for the true name of a child of God.

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