Sunday, April 20, 2008

LIVING SHAMELESSLY FREE


It might seem like all I have been up to is sitting at this computer with the number of posts I have made recently but nothing could be further from the truth. I have felt like writing here but it has been a pop in and pop out kind of scenario. As the gardening posts indicate, a lot of time is being spent in the garden. I'm back this time having felt this afternoon while working in the garden that it would be a good idea to pick up Wayne Jacobsen's book He Loves me and do some re-reading of it. Just like The Shack I go back to this book often. Without hesitation I would say that this book was the book that began to build in me the very things that became so vital for me when I was faced with the greatest challenge of my life a couple years ago. Shamelessly free became a very important reality for me during that time when all the surrounding voices thought I was making seriously wrong choices. Had it not been for this change which began to emerge from a growing vibrant realization of how much we are loved and accepted and how devastating, and at the same time, impotent law was when it comes to setting any of us free, who knows what might have happened? Thanks be to God that his grace had begun to trump conformity in my own life at that point. I am convinced that if this transition had not be set in motion in my life, I very well would have gone down a road myself and many around me had become all too familiar with and I would have destroyed the relationships most important to me. But Father had begun to change much in me...in my heart and my head and I am so very grateful for it all.


Well, I finally get to what I had in mind when I sat down here. I wanted to share something from He Loves Me.


"Shame is the unfortunate inheritance of humanities captivity in sin. You were born with her whispering in your ear. Until you find freedom from her in Father's love she will, like a cancer, sink her tentacles into everything you think or do."


"But when you find your security in the awesome love of God, her voice is unmasked. No longer do you have to play her games by worrying about what others think. Then you'll really know what it is to live as God's child in the earth."


"Jesus didn't want to use my shame to spur me to do greater things, he wanted to set me free from it."


"Discovering how much Father loves you will increasingly set you free to walk without shame, before God and with other people. Though shame restrains people from sin under the law, in Christ it no longer holds any purpose."


And one last thing which is actually a quote Wayne uses of Dallas Willard from The Divine Conspiracy.


"Would you like to have no need for others to praise you, and would you like not to be paralyzed and humiliated by their dis-like and condemnation? Wouldn't you also like to have a strength and understanding that enables you genuinely and naturally to bless those who are cursing you---cheating you, beating you out of jobs, spitting on you in a confrontation, laughing at your religion or culture, even killing you?


Those who are no longer influenced by shame can finally live authentic lives---the same outside as they are inside. It is tremendous relief to be known exactly for who you are, allowing people to know both your strengths and your weaknesses. Shame-free people champion reality over image, sincerity over pretentiousness, and honesty over deceit. Admittedly there is a cost to living authentically in a broken world as others try to take advantage of you. But no one I've met who has done so would go back to the land of pretense."


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