And, although it is certain inappropriate shame, I'm not even referring to the shame related to what can happened to abuse, rape and incest victims whose lives can be short-circuited by the actions of others. And not even that utterly unhelpful shame for the actions of others that land them in legal trouble, a web of additions or just a life out of control.
What I mean is the kind of shame that is a slap in God's face: the clinging to a wrong already forgiven.
Maybe the guilt is familiar. Maybe by clinging to the guilt we think can save ourselves the pain of moving forward. Maybe we embrace shame because it allows us to pose as "too unworthy" to do our part to make life better for someone else. But if you are struggling with this kind of self-destructive wallowing where you find yourself repeatedly throwing yourself one serious pity party after another, then I beseech you: STOP!
Stand up, dust off your back side and find a way to make a positive difference in this world. Pray for the sad, lonely and hopeless folks whose lives touch ours everyday. We are all free to do that any time and any place. If you can volunteer at a soup kitchen, call today to sign up. If you can contribute funds to someone working to aid the sad, lonely and hopeless in this world, research for a charity doing good work in this area and sent them some money--today. If you have to cut back off on spending for something that is really not good for you, so much the better. Slow down and look kindly at the faces you meet and offer a smile, a word of cheer.
There are thousands of acts of kindness, grand to tiny, that will bless you and someone else today. Look down at no one. Judge no one. Pray for each one and that your time together will be a blessing. Do more for people who can't give you anything back -- not gratitude or recognition or love -- than you do for family or friends or even acquaintances. Only discuss this kindness where necessary, lest you might loose some of the fun by getting a thank you!
It is the most freeing experiment I ever tried. As Shakespeare wrote "O, while you live, tell truth and shame the devil!" The truth is this: God's love is ever so much stronger than any error you ever made, any sin you ever committed, any wrong you have ever longed for God to forgive.
Ask God to help you---yes we are back to praying again.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7