July 25, 2013

Quick Strides On the Grace Trail

Shame fuels timidity and cowardice as much as addictions, bursts of rage, and acts of violence. Shame simmers in courtrooms as well as nurseries, at gang fights as well as middle school dances. In fact, shame is so prevalent it's never a question of whether we're struggling— just where and how. ~Gavin Ortlund
For all the joyful, happy, sing-songy things we love to attach to David in scripture, he was well acquainted with the lows of shame. Two incidents that stick out immediately to me being the whole sleeping with Uriah's wife, and his son, Absalom overthrowing his kingship.

A definition of shame: Feeling unclean and/or being in a state of uncleanliness. 

As sinners living in a fallen world we are in a state of shame. We carry the baggage of shame. Naturally we feel shameful. But...

When shame floods over us we do one thing: run. We either run to Jesus, or we run away from Him. 

This is one of David's most admirable qualities. He is quick to run to God when shame threatens to overtake him. I have much to learn from David's example and heart posture here. All too often my reaction to shame is quite the obvious, to run away from God and get myself cleaned up before entering into His presence again. But this reaction, this belief, is so anti-grace oriented, because it shows at a deeper level a part of me still thinks my relationship to the Father is based on me and my work. My cleaning myself up.

So need this truth beaten into my head, branded upon my heart...

Shame + Jesus = No Shame

No loopholes, stipulations, or clauses about it. Shame exists, but let us not forget that its presence and weight is a symptom of a disease in us. A painful symptom that ought to unleashes in us a desperate need and outcry for a Healer, a Savior.

This is a big chunk of the gospel that I don't won't to miss: Jesus, the Healer and Savior, obliterates shame. Not me at all. Him. Only Him.
You who feel the first signs of decay, quicken your pace: that hollow cough, that hectic flush, are warnings which you must not trifle with; with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord… ~C.H. Spurgeon
Translation: When shame creeps up, run to the foot of the cross. Get yourself to Jesus. 

We have to live by and through the gospel, by and through grace. Any other way would cripple and eventually crush us. Let our strides be quick on this trail of grace. This trail that leads to Christ whose blood and atonement is the only thing that covers over our shame.

2 comments :

  1. Hi Natalie! You make such a great point here, and I love that you used David. Such a blessed man, with so many flaws. But he did always get back to God, and so God loved him so much. I need to run to the cross, just like you said. So much better than running away!

    Happy Sunday,
    Ceil

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