Shame is such a dirty player.
At the exact moment we need others the most, shame sends us spiraling into isolation.
Sometimes physically. Other times emotionally. But regardless the outward response, shame always acts as an evil gatekeeper. A barrier between the illness in our souls and the very medication that can save us.
And really, who can blame us? We can be absolutely awful to each other. We use exposed weakness in others as a power play to elevate above our own insecurities (maybe even moreso in religious circles).
To run towards others when we’ve screwed up is definitely a risk, and risk means there’s an inherent chance it won’t turn out so well. We’ve got plenty of proof (and perhaps a few scars).
But I can promise you this: isolation will never lead to redemption. To have what you long for the most, you’ve got to risk what you fear the most. Come on, dig in, it’s gut check time.
So here’s my challenge:
If you’ve blown it, resist the urge to run away and hide. It’s strong. It’s natural. It’s understandable. But it’s never going to lead you towards healing and wholeness. Run toward Christ and step into your community, regardless of how scary that seems.
And on the flip side….
If you’re around someone who’s blown it (and come on, who isn’t?), be a person of grace. Love well. At times, loving someone means challenging them to make difficult changes. But real love never manifests as rejection or condemnation. Never. Let’s be people who aren’t afraid to step into the mess. After all, that’s what Jesus did for us.
How do you resist the urge to isolate when you’ve made a mistake? Is there someone you need to love well through their battle with shame?