My Dearest Alfred and Rita,
Today at the Jane’s Treatment Center we will look at ‘SHAME’. The American Heritage Dictionary says shame is:
a. A painful emotion caused by a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness, or disgrace.
b. Capacity for such a feeling
2. One that brings dishonor, disgrace, or condemnation.
3. A condition of disgrace or dishonor; ignominy.
4. A great disappointment.
Idiom: put to shame
1. To fill with shame; disgrace.
2. To outdo thoroughly; surpass: Your productivity has put the rest of us to shame.
Alfred knows something about this crippling emotion, because he has already had to overcome it, from a childhood spent in the Ugandan LRA rebel army. There they were specialists in making everyone a victim full of shame, and that was only step one. Soon they were made into killers who knew no shame — specialists in perpetrating acts of shame on their victims, so the cycle could continue over and over again. Yes shame was the tool of choice for the entrance to human hell. It was Satan’s natural choice…..the awful shame of a totally helpless victim of evil.
Jesus knew shame. The bible records that he was:
1. given, by the treachery and greed of His own disciple Judas, into the hands of His enemies
2. beaten (unjustly) while naked,
3. hung to die a slow painful death while naked, between two thieves, (while totally innocent and righteous) and mocked (shamed) with a sign over Him saying he was the King of the Jews.
Let us look at Psalm 69:16 ––It can be your prayer…just make it so in your heart….
Answer me oh LORD, for Your lovingkindness is good; According to the greatness of Thy compassion turn to me, 17 and do not hide Thy face from Thy servant, for I am in distress; answer me quickly. 18 Oh draw near to my soul and redeem it; Ransom me because of my enemies! 19 Thou dost know my reproach and my shame and my dishonor; All my adversaries are before Thee. 20 Reproach has broken my heart, and I am so sick. I looked for sympathy and there was none, and for comforters, but I found none.
Jesus, teach US what to do with shame.
The book of Hebrews records how Jesus handled the shame of his crucifixion.
Heb.12:2,3 Fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, ENDURED the cross, DESPISING THE SHAME, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself,, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
That is how Jesus handled His shame. He ENDURED (the suffering and pain) and DESPISED it all. How can you handle your shame? The same way of course.
ENDURING —to suffer patiently.
DESPISING—this recognizes the trauma..it does not diminish it…it makes a decision to refuse the feeling of shame…it chooses its’ own value and worth ..not allowing it to be taken away by another. It goes one step further from refusing and rejecting…it DESPISES the shame. This act of despising or feeling contempt for the shame, keeps your self-worth intact. It gives you the way to handle that horrible feeling.
I want you to watch for these tendencies and consciously reject them:
· Feeling defensive when criticized
· Wanting to hide or disappear from the presence of others
· Inflicting emotional punishments such as: indulging in negative or destructive self-talk, setting self up to be hurt or rejected by others
· Drooping body posture—slouching shoulders, hanging head, avoiding eye contact
· “Acting out” behaviors: drugs, alcohol, arson, cruelty to people or animals, stealing, prostitution, suicide attempts, eating disorders, compulsive behaviors
· Inflicting physical punishments: cutting of flesh, burning oneself with cigarettes, being accident prone
Remember that I love you, and many people you do not even know love and care about you. But most of all Jesus Loves YOU.