Shame and the Grace of God
October 28, 2020 / Joshua Sercey
In Week 3 of our mini-series looking at God and how his character affects our mental health, we look at shame.
Each one of us is living in a story. As humans, we find purpose and significance based off of the story that we think we are living into. Shame recognizes this, and is seeking to tell you a story, and it’s one of the most destructive narratives you can embrace.
This week, we’ll see how shame’s story is dehumanizing, isolating, and perpetuates the sins we hate. But the grace of God is able to undo this narrative, interrupting it with a new word and a decisive story of freedom and safe vulnerability.
- Shame is the conviction that there is something fundamentally wrong about who and what we are. It takes the events of our lives and tells us that there is something deeply wrong with us. It robs us of our identity of image bearers of God, making us sub-human.
- Shame isolates us and keeps us from engaging in relationship with others. It often causes us to run to other things which we hope will assuaged our internal grief.
- God’s grace releases us from the tyranny of shame because the cross of Jesus has already revealed the worst thing about me (that my sin required the death of God’s son) and it has revealed the most hopeful news (God loves me so much he redeemed me through Christ’s death).
- God’s grace restores my dignity — he loves me so much that he died for me, and therefore I am of worth.
- The story of the leper in Mark chapter 1 reminds us that Jesus takes our place and takes our shame.