Speaking Of Life 1008 | The Shame Game
Have you ever been a victim of the shame game?
Sadly, in our culture you can be shamed for just about anything, whether it’s shameful or not. Shame has been weaponized for social, economic and political gain. You’ve probably seen it played out on major news outlets and personal networking sites. Words of shame can come to us from foes and foreigners as well as friends and family. And the most toxic shaming we hear is from the closest voice we know – our own.
That’s a lot of words of shame.
But what about God’s word? Does he play the shame game?
There’s a story that sheds light on this question. It’s the story of Jesus’ first miracle. A wedding celebration was about to come to an embarrassing halt because the host ran out of wine. It may sound insignificant to us today, but back then, in that culture, it was a major social faux pas that would bring incredible shame to the family name. This isn’t really Jesus’ problem, and some could argue that the host deserved to be publicly shamed. Maybe the community needed to be put on alert in case others were considering joining the family.
But Jesus made a different call. He miraculously turns water into an abundance of fine wine. Instead of playing the shame game, he elevates the host to a higher place of honor. Imagine the impact on the host as his evening and reputation is transformed by Jesus’ act of mercy.
The way the Word of God – Jesus – responds in this crisis, reveals the Father’s heart. God doesn’t speak words of shame to us. Rather, his word comes to silence shame by mercifully lifting us up in his glory and honor. When words of shame are shot our way, God’s word of honor spoken to us in Jesus will shield our ears and heart from shame’s impact.
Here’s a Psalm that can remind us of just that point.
“In you, O LORD, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me.” (Psalm 31:1)
And when your own voice tries to convince you that your shame is beyond Jesus’ righteousness, listen to these words just a few Psalms away.
“Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord. How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” (Psalm 36:5-7)
People continue to play the shame game when mistakes happen, even though no one ever wins.
But Jesus still works miracles, where everyone can celebrate in the end.
And there’s no shame in that.
I’m Jeff Broadnax, Speaking of Life