“Shame on you!” Have those words been spoken over you, maybe as a child? Have you spoken those words to someone else? Whether or not we heard those 3 words spoken, we all have felt shame in our lives. Shame is: painful humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. While guilt is a painful feeling of regret and responsibility for one's actions, shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person.
Let’s look at what God does with shame. In the book of Joshua in the Bible, we see a leader who is struggling. Seven times God tells Joshua to be bold and courageous in his leadership. (It’s pretty obvious that he struggles with fear and timidity.)
But in chapter 3, Joshua tells the people of Israel that it is time to cross the Jordan River. Finally, after 40 years, they are going into their Promised Land. In chapter 5, something remarkable happens. It begins with the circumcision of the people (verses 2-3) which is significant because verse 4 tells us that no one had been circumcised since they left Egypt. A few verses later, God says this to the people, “Today, I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” (NLT translation)
These people were ashamed of being Hebrews in Egypt. They still had a slave mentality 40 years later. But God declares that on this day, He had removed the shame of their slavery. Part of their shame was being a slave, but the other part was enduring the insults they heard from other nations who mocked them for taking 40 years to make a 16 day trip from Egypt to Jordan River.
Let’s apply this to our lives:
- Freedom from shame happened after they took a step towards what God told them was their inheritance. After they put their feet into the flowing river of Jordan, the river parted.
- Then they circumcised themselves. For us, this means that we circumcise our hearts, which is to cut away our sinful nature, especially those private, personal areas that we work really hard to cover up.
- After God made His decree of rolling away the shame of slavery, they began to eat differently (verses 11-12.) It affected their everyday life. For us, we also must choose what we “digest” in our minds and the actions of our life. We must think and live differently.
Begin removing the shame of your past -- your years of slavery and wandering -- by believing who you are as a child of God. Click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKv9eiFoBms for a video of Scriptures that speak truth to how God sees everyone who accepts what Jesus did for them on the cross.
Take this list and step towards what God tells you is true. Cut away sinful nature. Live differently. God still rolls away shame for every child of His!