I ran into a situation today where I watched these two emotions over take someone I care for deeply. I literally wanted to scream out loud. I despise these feelings and what they do to people. I couldn't move fast enough in an attempt to lift this off of them.
Why is it that most people seem to want to exploit these paralyzing emotions in other people? And we need to remember we are all susceptible to this. How is it that people of the religion that proclaims to be following Jesus use these things in an attempt to conform other's behavior? I have been so overwhelmed with.......something?........today and I can't quite figure out how to describe it. For one, I think I am angry. To see this beautiful, wonderfully caring person go from being confused about something to sinking into this pit of humiliation and despair just broke my heart. I knew what it was that was causing it. See, this person has been affected by a religious teaching that is more attached to the TREE OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOOD AND EVIL than it was the TREE OF LIFE.
Why does this religion proclaiming to represent Jesus do this?
I watched this dear person sinking into a pit and all I could do was everything I new to do to lift this shame off of them. Shame is a paralyzing emotion that scripture even says Jesus despised. Jesus on the cross, took it all within himself so we wouldn't have to. I wish we could see through the lie and understand that the feelings of shame never sets anyone free. It drives them into a pit.
Why do most people trust more in the use of fear...shame...guilt...to "straighten out" someones path instead of the love and mercy and grace and forgiveness of God demonstrated in Jesus...his life...the cross and the new life of the resurrection? I don't know? I just don't understand?
When we were yet sinners and lost, he came close to let us know that he loved us and had opened a way for us to come home. I ask whoever is reading this, Let us all look closely at how we deal with people so as to see if we are using shame and guilt in an attempt to conform other's behavior. Please understand that it drives them deeper into feelings of unworthiness and despair and very well might discourage them from going home where all that awaits them is love and acceptance and grace and mercy...the powerful yet gentle transforming embrace of a Father who cares and loves more than any of us can begin to imagine.
I saw in the eyes of someone today a change happen and it broke my heart... for a moment they lost sight of this awesome Father and the truth that he has taken the shame, along with the sin, within himself and destroyed it, and they began to spiral down because their eyes were turned to their sin and the weight that stupid tree and the moral code that comes from the religion that exploits it. A life focused on the flesh is death.....but a life focused on the Spirit is life.
That's the story that has the power to set people free.....not exploiting their sense of shame and sense of unworthiness. Lets' work along side Jesus and lift it off people so they can begin to breathe again and feel safe to come home, not run and hide as the first two in that garden did a long time ago because they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Let's stop shoving people's sin in their faces. The tree of life is all they need. He knows how to set them free.