The shame of guilty self-awareness

By Dave Henning / September 17, 2017

“Every one of us knows the shame of guilty self-awareness and the fear of exposure.  But we don’t want to life in the isolation of that darkness.  We long for freeing relationships with others, especially God.”- Ray Ortlund

“I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise.”- Zephaniah 3:19

Jared C. Wilson concludes Chapter 2 of The Imperfect Disciple as he tackles the subject of shame.  Although our shame is real, Jared reminds us, Christ bore our shame on the cross.  As a result, Ray Ortlund explains, our shame no longer defines us.  He writes:

“What defines you, what reveals your future forever, is this word: ‘ . . .adorned. . . .’ Not shamed.  Adorned.  Lovely.  Attractive.  And the moment is coming when he will look into your eyes with glad adoration, and you will look into his eyes with confident surrender.  and nothing will ever, ever spoil it again.”

Thus, Mr. Wilson observes, Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount  – or any of Jesus’ teachings, for that matter – don’t comprise a “handy compendium of pick-me-ups for spiritual go-getters.”  Hence, Jared defines discipleship in this way:

“What is discipleship, then, but following Jesus not on some religious quest to become bigger, better, or faster, but to become more trusting of his mercy toward our total inability to become those things?”

Therefore, Jared concludes, only those who think themselves above Christ and his gospel wind up losing in the end.

Romans 10:11- “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, at what point did the shame of guilty self-awareness rear its ugly head?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the new Short Meditation, “Facing things out of my control”

About the author

Dave Henning

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