We all have pasts that are shameful. It could be you were suicidal and you are ashamed to come forward because you don’t know what people might think. You might have been unfaithful and you are filled with the shame of that past. You might have slept with so many people that every night you regret what you did.Maybe you were an addict, or a cutter and you feel as if you embrace that part of your past you will be embarrassed and seen differently. Friend, name your shame whatever it may be. But I want to offer you some comfort , that shameful thing is your cross. I know it doesn’t seem logical for me to say. But if the cross was thought to be shameful and Jesus says to take up your cross and keep going wouldn’t that also translate to “take up your shame and keep moving forward?”
The beauty of all this is simple, while those things may be shameful they are not who you are. The cross meant shame as Jesus carried it before being crucified, but that was not who He was. Yes that cross meant shame and it was the lowest way to go but God turned it into something beautiful, he turned it into a symbol of redemption. So what is that shameful thing that God has redeemed that should not be seen as shameful because it has been transformed by the power of Christ?
I imagine the enemy sneering and laughing at Jesus as He walked to the mount with that cross. The peoples hateful and cynical remarks. Then I imagine the look on the enemy’s face when he saw that this shameful cross meant the salvation of all mankind, that with this cross death was conquered. What was considered shameful is now considered redemptive. What was considered shameful is now the way to the Father.
That shameful thing you are hiding that God has delivered you from is your cross. It is the object the enemy tried to use to beat you, to get you down, to tell you that you are nothing and unworthy. That shameful past is what the enemy tried to use against you to tell you that you are an embarrassment. But if God has redeemed it why should it signify shame? If God has redeemed it then its a beautiful cross that you need to embrace. God can and will use that shame for His glory, for someone else’s salvation when they hear your testimony.
So here is my shame. About eleven years ago I was diagnosed with depression. Simply said I was suicidal and was to be on meds and not left alone. I was so ashamed. I made a decision at that moment that changed my life, that changed me. I decided to give Jesus a chance. This Jesus that I had read about time and time again on a page was my only chance. I had no idea of who He was and why He would help me, but I made the choice to reach out to Him anyway. I wasn’t sure if He would hear me or if He was even real. I felt so silly as I spoke to the emptiness in my room, as I spoke words of desperation. Was He really listening? But why would He? I am nothing. But apparently according to Him I was worthy. Worthy of His love, worthy of His grace, worthy of His life. It was a process that led me to who I am now.This is my story and no one else’s. As I write this I have no idea who will read it. I don’t want pity I want you to see what God has done.
I am someone who God set free from death. He gave my life purpose and meaning. I don’t see the world as a did back then. When you have an encounter with God you are transformed and you see the world though His eyes. God has shown so much love and grace to me that I want you to know that there is enough for you too!
I carry shame, but I am not ashamed. I carry shame as the cross of what that suicidal me wanted to do and then I take up that cross and show what that shame really is, its a testimony of Gods glory and Gods power. Life is beautiful and messy and full and diffcult but there is hope, Jesus made sure of that when He carried that cross and rose again. You are so loved!