wholehearted: intimacy, courage and freedom in God

Found at the cross

on April 25, 2017
It’s one of those things we don’t like to admit… we bury it down deep and hope no-one can see it in us, but the reality is, most of us experience it. It’s different from guilt. Guilt says I’ve done something wrong, shame says there’s something wrong with me. It attacks our identity, our worth, our true self.
It’s been around since Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3).  When shame rears it’s ugly head, it causes 2 main responses: hide and cover! (Genesis 3:7-8).
For as long as I can remember I’ve lived with feelings of inadequacy, of not measuring up, of not being enough. Just like Adam and Eve I’ve hidden, I’ve spent years of my life retreating and withdrawing from others, putting up walls so no-one would see the real me. And worst of all, cowering away from the presence of God…the one who has the power to take my shame and call me His beloved.
And just like them, I’ve tried to cover my shame with fig leaves: with perfection; striving; trying to make myself presentable…
Brene Brown says ‘When we struggle to believe in our worthiness, we hustle for it.’
Man, have I hustled for it! Perfection, people-pleasing, trying harder, doing!…Can I tell you how exhausting that is!
And the truth is the fig leaves just aren’t cutting it!!! At the end of the day, I’m just the same tired, messy girl who needs Jesus!
I went to the park with some other mums this week. Several times our kids fell off their scooters and landed in the dirt. They would come to us with tears, dirt, bark, mess! and not one mum would send her child away to get cleaned up before they would be hugged. Every time, their mum would scoop them up, dirt, tears, mess and all and hold them tight in an embrace that said “you are loved…you are mine…just as you are”.
Why do we think God won’t do the same? Because the truth is He already has! Jesus came for the brokenhearted, the captives, the poor, the prisoners.
I think for many of us, we think we better get our act together before we come to God. The not good enough plagues us and the rags of shame feel way too heavy some days. We agonize about the mess and we cover it with some fig leaves of striving. And we’re tired and weary and exhausted…and definitely in need of a Saviour.
The truth is, we don’t need to clean ourselves up to come to Jesus. We don’t have to have it all together. We don’t need to strive, to hustle, to do more. We don’t have to present ourselves worthy of His love… because He’s already done it all.
I love that Jesus does messy! I love that in my not enough, my sin, my shame, He comes… to pay the ultimate price. I am so thankful that He would leave the beauty of heaven to enter my mess, to die on a cross, to be the ransom for my freedom. To take the sin, the shame, the mess and wear it as His own.
2 Corinthians 5:21 says ‘God made Him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.’
When shame comes, we must run to God. It wants to tells us a story about ourselves: that we’re not good enough, that we need to hide and cover… but Jesus has rewritten our story and we need to fix our eyes on the redemptive work of the cross, see ourselves with the same forgiven, restored, redeemed eyes that God sees us. Don’t buy into shame’s story. Re-enter the story of Jesus who scorned the shame of the cross to bring us back into relationship with God.
Scorning shame means that we intentionally stare it in the face and declare that the story it is telling is not truth. Forgiveness is ours for the asking. Jesus has already paid the price and changed our story forever!!!!
I’m tired of hustling for my worthiness. It’s time to rest into the truth that I am loved, I am forgiven, I am enough because I’m His. I don’t need to strive, to hustle, to do more.
The cross means many things to us but today as I gaze on the beauty of Christ’s ransom for me it represents freedom, forgiveness, love.
And so I run to the cross! I stop hiding and covering and I choose a new response. I turn away from the words of shame and turn towards my Jesus, who bore my not enough on a cross, that I could walk in freedom, in love, in the truth of who I really am. I lay down the fig leaves of striving and Jesus clothes me in a new garment: A robe of righteousness. I am His… loved, forgiven, scooped up in all my mess and embraced by my Heavenly Father.
What do you need at the cross today?



2 responses to “Found at the cross

  1. Noreen packer says:

    Once again Tammy a very timely abide,thank you so much


  2. Sally Jones says:

    Some deeply significant words of truth, Tammy. Thank you.


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