The Bite of Shame

embarrThe thoughts can fly out of nowhere it seems, and knock the wind right out of you. One minute you’re gazing out the window, following a happy trail of memories, then out of the blue an ugly one hauls off and bites you, catching you unaware. It hurts, that memory. Not because something was done to you, but because it was something you did to someone else.

It’s a different kind of hurt, because it’s embarrassing. Shameful. Often riddled with guilt. For me, it often makes me catch my breath, then shake my head at my lack of… something. The problem with most of us is that we allow those painful memories to continue to haunt us, bullying us into a cowed sense of submission out of shame. We are left feeling incredibly unworthy for as long as that lingering memory and it’s cohorts decides to stick around. And that’s wrong.

Our sense of worth need not be wrapped up in words or deeds from our past, even if it was only an hour ago. We have the power and the freedom to move on, to learn from it, to shake the oppressive chains that want to keep us bound up tight. We have the power to choose to apologize, to seek forgiveness from the one we transgressed, as well as from ourselves, and to allow grace to flow freely. Mercy and grace have been generously expended for our sake, and if we choose to ignore them, we suffer. If we choose to be consumed by these gifts, we find freedom.

Yes, it really can be that simple. We have been sought after, paid for, delighted in, poured into, and… loved. Why let the ugly things take up so much space when they can be obliterated? Why stay a prisoner when we can taste freedom? Life is made up of choices. Choose to live.

John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”


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