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Sep 2nd, 2011 by admin

By: admin Sep 2nd, 2011


Overcoming Fear and Shame

In my personal study, I’ve found one thing to be true… only shame and fear can derail our walk with Christ. When we doubt ourselves, His goodness or the world and circumstances around us, then we backslide, self-rely, over-analyze and simply become afraid. Whether we’re afraid of success or failure, being rejected or accepted… the source of the fear makes the emotion no less crippling. In most instances, that’s where the shame stems from also. We’re not certain about our new identity in Christ, so we’re afraid of being put to shame. What if I pray and nothing happens? What if I’ve served God for nought? What if my old friends don’t understand the new me? What if? What if? What if? If this plan of serving God doesn’t work out, we’re afraid of shame.

Even if we could personally bear the weight of disgrace and disappointment, we’re no good to those around us in that shut-down state. The only way to overcome all of those fears is to never try, never love, never share, never put yourself in a place where you could be disliked, misunderstood, hurt or rejected. The world around us can be harsh, but everyone is in search of God’s love (whether they’ve become aware of it or not). We are they’re only hope and His overwhelming love for us is our only hope. Our personal problems with fear and shame cannot stop us from being what the watching world needs. Our testimony is the only thing that will reach some hearts and it should become a privilege to share our progress and be used to help save others.

One of the core reasons why fear and shame have taken root in even the best Christian heart is relatively simple. We let our previous life and our struggle with sin define us. Instead of living beyond reproach and above worldly standards, we never progress past a sinner saved by grace. While that phrase is entirely true, I must believe that there is a place in Christ Jesus where I am unscathed by previous temptations and my longing for intimacy with God removes all evil desires and distractions. I’m not saying that we can get to the place where we are invincible, but I do believe that we can ultimately and finally conquer some of the more basic temptations and move on to a deeper glory with God.

As our church studied the story of Mephibosheth last week, I contemplated our adoption by God, our role in His family and His undeniably restorative work in our life. If you don’t know the story, then join me in 2 Samuel 4:4 NLT.

“(Saul’s son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth, who was crippled as a child. He was five years old when the report came from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle. When the child’s nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled. But as she hurried away, she dropped him, and he became crippled.)”

The story goes that over twenty years later, David remembered his covenant with Jonathan and searched for any remaining relative of Saul’s family that he could be a blessing to. One of Saul’s servants that still served David knew of Mephibosheth and told David of his existence. The king sent for him and Mephibosheth came to David’s table. David restored land and goods and honor to Mephibosheth and even gave him some servants to tend his newly acquired acreage. If you continue to read the story throughout 2 Samuel 9, you find that Mephibosheth lives happily with David and becomes a part of the king’s family.

The striking part of this story was not the restoration or the adoption or the favor that David showed. While all of those things are wonderful and are even types and shadows of our gift and new life in Christ, that’s not where my heart stopped this time. I became obsessed with the fact that Scripture calls Mephibosheth a cripple at least 5 times. Mephibosheth, who was crippled… the only adjective he is given is his limitation or his downfall. His shortcomings defined him. Even after David calls him a son (in 2 Samuel 9:4 NCV), the passage ends by explaining that the cripple ate at David’s table. Surrounded by beauty, perfection, splendor and grace stands this imperfect man. And because of the king’s love, he fits right in.

Tomorrow, I’m going to share how this story has continued to impact my life. It’s an incredible truth that I hope helps many more people.

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