We are fast becoming a culture of shame (actually most of the rest of world is) as we struggle with this inner sense of unworthiness, feeling less, worthless. We don’t feel we measure up, and with social media either masking our ill feelings with those perfect, posed ‘selfies’ or get publicly shamed by a not-so-flattering or hurtful viral post. We tend to come up short and at the end of the day we inventory more experiences of embarrassment, humiliation, and shame than honor.
We do long for honor, not that fleeting and soon empty feeling of fame. For fame feels like honor when we get the recognition, but it only lasts as long as we are in the spotlight. However the honor of being accepted, having belonging regardless of our shortcomings, and sensing love, that is true honor, the honor we desire. We know that this honor, the real honor, is not earned or deserved, it is given, ascribed or accredited. Sure we can live a dishonorable life and face the relational consequences, but we long for that attributed honor that is somehow credited to us.
Well, the truth is, that is exactly what Jesus did for us! Jesus took the shame of sin upon Him that we might live in honor.
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
1 Peter 2:24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
That tree is the cross on which He died to be the substitution for the consequences of our shame/sin and confers onto us the honor of adoption.
1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atonement, substitution ) for our sins.
Ephesians 1:3-6 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 He predestined us (knew before) for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, 6 to the praise of His glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
When we come to faith in Jesus, that honor is credited to us, imputed, and nothing can take away that love-given honor
Romans 8:38-39 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Wow, and how amazing is this…we need not go down the walk of shame. If we have faith in Jesus we live in a climate of honor, the key for us is to be reminded of this and find our refuge in our Lord. Maybe we need to pray like King David of the Bible:
Psalm 31:1-5 In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! 2 Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily! Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! 3 For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me; 4 you take me out of the net they have hidden for me, for you are my refuge. 5 Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God.
Yes, it’s tough when the net of shame continues to capture us, our world seems to never stop. However, we must continue to be reminded of our attributed honor and live reminded we are redeemed, renewed, and reconciled. We are to be…
Hebrews 12:2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Seeking to live in the honor, through Jesus, we have been given with you,
PS As we do every Sunday we talk about Jesus and would love for you to join us or listen in on our sermons on line anytime. Our website has the details www.cypresschurch.net