Shame blocks us from living wholeheartedly. Don’t let it keep you down. Get up! Keep going!
What’s Draining You? Shame
Is Derek Redmond a Winner or a Loser?
Give Up or Get Up?
At the age of 19, he broke the British 400 meter record. Fast forward to the 1988 Olympics. 10 minutes before the race he had an injury and had to withdraw. Fast forward again. 1992 summer Olympics. Barcelona Spain. This time he breaks away with the lead. Half way into it he experiences searing pain in his leg, like a gunshot wound. His hamstring is torn. He’s out of the race. Or is he? He gets up and starts to hobble toward the finish line. A man breaks through the security barrier, and rushes to his side. It’s his dad. Together, they make it one more lap. With a few feet to the finish, his dad pulls back and watches his son, finish his race. And the crowd of 65,000 plus goes absolutely wild! Derek Redmond — winner or loser? I guess it depends on how you look at it.
Shame shouts, “Stay down. Failure. Unworthy. Embarrassment.” Accusatory words that the father of lies uses to take us out of kingdom work. Words that make us think we alone in our struggles. Words that make us say we’re fine when we’re not. Words that make us afraid to be seen. Words that keep us up at night in fear. Words that render us silent and ineffective by day. I can’t help but wonder, if I were in Derek’s shoes, would I give up or get up? How about you?
The father of lies, the accuser, the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy hovers over you with one foot on your back and whispers…”Stay down, sinner. I know what you’ve done. Everyone knows. God can’t and won’t use you ever again.”
And the Father of Truth and Love says, “Get up my beloved. I’m going to use you and your testimony to reach the unreachable.”
“Stay down anxious and depressed. Real Christians don’t experience emotions like these. You’re not like the others.”
And Abba Father (Daddy) says, “Get up apple of my eye. Peace I give to you. Let me carry you for a while.”
“Stay down divorcee. You’ve failed. You are unlovable. You will be alone. And Jesus, rushes to your side and says, “Get up my beautiful bride. Dance with me.”
“Stay down struggling mom. You’re kids are a mess. You can’t do anything right.”
And the Father of Truth and Love says, “Get up daughter. I’ve chosen you for such a time as this, to love these kids with strength, dignity and unconditional love.”
“Stay down fatherless. Stay down abused. Stay down scarred. Stay down eating disorders. Stay down weakness.” The enemy’s shame list is long. His fiery darts keep coming our way until we start to believe the ultimate lie – we’re damaged goods. Never enough. Never worthy. And God shows up on the track with an outstretched hand speaking truth to us through His word?
Run Your Race!
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1 (NKJV)
We each have a race that is set before us. It’s uniquely ours. I can’t compare my course with anyone else’s. It won’t be easy. There are times I’ll be tired and sore. There will be times I will make mistakes. There will be times I will seize up and fall. And God whispers hope. He’s given us a cloud of witnesses who have already hobbled over the finish line and are cheering us on. Get up. Keep going.
Hebrews 12:2 goes on to say?
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2) NKJV
This is our training manual on how to overcome shame. We keep our eyes and ears on Him. We stop shame dead in its tracks by despising it. The word “despise” means to detest, loathe, abhor, scorn, deplore. Get the picture? Next time the father of lies tries to tempt you with shame, don’t give it the time of day. Don’t pull it close to your heart. Don’t savor it. Don’t meditate on it. Turn away from it. Stop chewing on garbage! Get up. Keep going!
Chew on This
Keep your eyes fixed on the author and finisher of your faith and chew on this..
In Christ, I am worthy.
I am loved.
I am accepted.
I am His.
I am going finish my race.
Shame is a spiritual battle. Lies can only be combatted with truth. The bible is full of promises we can claim. Write them down. Insert your name. Put your armor on and combat lies with the truth of His word.
So next time the enemy whispers this in your ear (shame on you). Tell him to take it up with your Dad! Get up. Keep going!
What’s draining you? Like our cell phones, if we wander too far off from our trusted signal, our battery will be drained as it searches for other, less secure signals. Stay close to your trusted signal. It’s only there you will find the strength to live wholeheartedly and the freedom to be vulnerable. The very thing you’re hiding is the very thing that God wants to use. Take his hand and step out into the light. That’s where the joy is!
Want to go deeper on today’s topic? Download the study guide go through it on your own or with some friends. And don’t forget to share the joy!