You should be ashamed of yourself! (and other common myths)

SHAME is often used as an attempt to prevent someone from behaving in a way that would be an embarrassment.  It’s an offensive maneuver to salvage a wounded pride.

Stepping out in faith feels a lot like telling a well-guarded secret.  Secret telling, by its nature, involves shame and fear.  It threatens with, “what will they think of me when I do this?  They’re going to hate me for it!”

Living out your glory exposes a society to itself.  A life lived to the full opens cupboards and closets.  One person courageously stepping forward illuminates anyone who thought they were safe in the shadows.  It casts a beam of light into the darkness and says, “Do you see?”

Consider the apostle Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 3:4-18, “Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.…Now, if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?  If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!  For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.  And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
    “Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.  We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away.  But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.  Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.  But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

When people don’t want to see something, they get mad at the one who shows them.  Look at Isaiah 6:9-10:
  He said, "Go and tell this people:
       " 'Be ever hearing, but never understanding;
       be ever seeing, but never perceiving.'

  Make the heart of this people calloused;
       make their ears dull
       and close their eyes.
       Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
       hear with their ears,
       understand with their hearts,
       and turn and be healed."

“A lover without indiscretion is no lover at all.”  Thomas Hardy, (The Hand of Ethelbertha (1876) ch.20)

Communicating opens the closets, airs our cellars and attics.  It brings light and healing.  But before a wound can heal, it must be treated, and the act of exposing the wound to air and light — the act of risk and passion — is often countered with attacks of shaming.

Many visionaries begin a piece of work, progressing nicely until near completion, when suddenly the work seems mysteriously pointless.  It’s not really worth the trouble, after all.  This surge of sudden disinterest is a routine coping device deployed to deny potential pain.  As if to say, “it doesn’t matter” would save us from the truth of our vulnerability.

Often we are wrongly shamed when we try to live counter to someone else’s expectations.  From this shaming we’re told that we are mere airy dreamers to have vision.  We learn this lesson and quietly tuck it away.  But buried under “it doesn’t matter”, the bindweed of shame thrives, waiting to attach itself to any new growth.  Even the attempt to live differently creates shame.  This is usually the method used by the legalists to condemn certain artists, musicians, directors, playwrights and so on.  It is confusion of the messenger and the message.

This is why so many of us feel shame at admitting our dreams.  Shame is stirred up in us as adults because of our wounds received in childhood.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

“For you were once in darkness, but now you are light in the LORD.  Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the LORD.  Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.  For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient to in secret.  But everything is exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible.  This is why it is said:
    “‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’
    “Be very careful then how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.  Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the LORD’s will is.”  Eph 5:8-17

Journalize your shame.  Remember that anger is allowed on these pages.

[the Source starts here]

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