Acceptance and Shame

We want to be accepted by everyone and for them to think what we are cool. I’ll just call it that because some want to be thought of as intelligent, some want to be compassionate and some want to be feared. We don’t ever want to be disrespected by anyone. However, with the culture of criticism we have, we find people are rejected socially all the time. We hardly ever find someone that can set trends on a neighborhood scale much less a worldwide scale. That is because acceptance is not usually based on right or wrong. It is often the rebellious that are accepted and the ones who do right are not.
 
Jesus was accepted by many people because of his teaching and healing. His observations from the word of God were fresh and different than anything they had heard before. Jesus didn’t come to be rebellious, but the traditions had been taken and enforced as law. People were now guilty and wrong for the way they washed hands, for chewing on a stalk of wheat as they walked, or for not fasting with no reason. Jesus challenged the traditions, not the law of God. It didn’t matter whether he was accepted or not he stood for what was right and good. And that made him popular because he also stood against the imposed traditions that were not from God.
 
When we do wrong, we feel guilt. When we do wrong long enough it becomes a habit and part of our personality. It is who we are and then we feel shame. Shame does have a place when we realize who we have become. We can become something by else by just doing it enough to change our motives and thinking. It is not the first time we take drugs or drink that makes us an addict. If we continually do those things, they take over our thinking and our motivation. We develop addictive behavior and it controls our life. Then we feel both guilt and shame for what we have become.
 
Jesus can forgive us of both guilt and shame. Paul was completely wrapped up in the anger he felt against Christians. He wanted to destroy them all. He couldn’t listen to the message of grace. That was until Jesus confronted him about his behavior. It changed him. He was no longer angry about Christianity. He listened and understood for the first time. He had been a monster putting Christians in prison and even to death. He also believed the grace of God and the sacrifice of Jesus. He changed so he was no longer ashamed of who he had become. Sometimes other people rejected him and tried to make him feel shame for who he had become. He rejected their shame and said it was the grace of God that made him who he was. That grace can do the same thing for us also.
 
Terry
Friday, May 31, 2019

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