Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Great is My Shame~Greater Still is His Love

Shame on me…

Here’s what happened…

I had been a part of the Christmas Musical Lightshow committee at our church.  We were responsible for helping to organize, promote and execute the first ever Christmas Musical Lightshow at our church.  The show ran from the night after Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Eve.

Why shame on me? 

I didn’t trust God.

Not just that…I went further than not trusting God, and I thought I could make a better decision than Him.

I had doubted that we’d get enough volunteers to work the parking lot all 33 nights that the show was running.  I just couldn’t fathom so many people volunteering to stand in a dark, cold parking lot for 2 hours at a time.

Low and behold, we DID get a LOT of volunteers.  That was good!  I had worked a couple of shifts, but not nearly as many as I had expected to.

So, then, because I was feeling kind of sheepish about my “doubting of God’s provision,” I decided I should sign up for ONE MORE shift.

That was my mistake…

On the night of the 23rd of December, Evie and I had been playing cards over at Grandma’s, then we came home for dinner, I did laundry, started working on getting things ready for Christmas Eve the next day, and finally sat down to pull up e-mail.  That’s when I noticed I had a missed call.  I recognized that the number was from my church, so I called it back.  I, of course, got the voicemail service as it was after 6:45 pm. 

Why did I miss that call?  Who could have been trying to reach me?  Did I miss rehearsal for singing on Christmas Eve?  No, we had rehearsed the week before…

Oh.my.gosh…my heart dropped into my stomach as I pulled up my e-mail quickly and checked the schedule for the show that had been e-mailed out.

There it was…my name…from 5pm-7pm.  

My first reaction was to try to find something to blame it on…I didn’t recall signing up, it was too cold and I didn’t think anyone would be expected to stand out there, we had all been sick with the stomach flu the week before and were just starting to get back on track…

The fact is, Tammie, you messed up.

*Ding*…the timer on the oven alerts me to the fact that my crow is finished, and now I could eat it.

So, what do I do now?  It was 10 minutes until my shift was over, and Jeff wasn’t home from work yet.  I couldn’t drag Evie up to church on a freezing cold night after she’d had her bath.  What would be the point anyway? I had missed my shift.

I texted the person with whom I’d been scheduled to work and apologized for not being there for her.  I had messed up and there was no excuse.  Then I e-mailed one of the committee members who had e-mailed me earlier in the day and I said, “Oh, I wish I would have checked my e-mail sooner, maybe I wouldn’t have forgotten…” 

I just knew that I needed to come clean, to anyone and everyone I could.  I knew that my guilt would eat me up if I didn’t.  I also later apologized to the person who was scheduled to work after my shift.  That was a REALLY cold night, and I’m sure that arriving to find a person before you never even showed up must not have instilled the greatest amount of “energy” needed to gear up for her 2 hour shift.

So, why am I telling you this story?  

Because pride goes before the fall.

But I also tell you this because, it’s how I get through my shame, and I wanted to share this piece of advice with everyone.

I’m not sure how many people would have “known” that I didn’t show up for my shift.  I’m not sure how many people may have missed getting greeted because I wasn’t there.  But I DO know that I can’t hide what happened from God.  He already knows.

The fact is; he allowed it to happen…I needed to eat some crow, and God knew this was the best way for me to do it.

Shame and guilt can eat away at people.  Shame and guilt eats away at me.  But God already knows everything that we have done; we cannot hide from him.

We don’t HAVE to hide.

While we were YET sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

You see, shame is actually a way that we tell God, “You don’t have the power to forgive me.”

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.  Isaiah 53:5

If we don’t allow God to forgive us, we’re telling Jesus that he died for nothing.

I’m not sure about you, but this tells me that I had BETTER get up and forgive myself.  If I have confessed my sin to God, and if I have recognized what I needed to learn from this incident, then the only thing I’m accomplishing by carrying around guilt and shame is denying God’s sovereignty and power. 

But, Tammie, you’re not talking about a BIG sin here…

Okay, I’ll accept that…this isn’t the MOST embarrassing or shameful thing I’ve ever done…but let’s look straight at the Bible and see what Jesus did regarding those “BIG” sins. 
The adulterous woman, she was caught cheating on her husband.  I think we can agree, that is definitely a shameful sin.  And what did Jesus do?  After telling her accusers that only one who could throw a stone at her to kill her was the one who had never committed a sin, this is what happened:

Straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more." John 8:10-11

I think Jesus is saying that to each of us right now

The voice of your accuser is the voice of a liar. 

The voice of your Father in Heaven says, “I do not condemn you…”

Go…and shame no more…

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