What am I Hiding Behind?

As I continue reading Curt Thompson’s “The Soul of Shame”, I find the following words: “we live in a culture where we are afraid to reveal who we are for fear of being shamed for being who we are.” And so, what does that fear cause us to do? We hide! We hide in hopes to be as far as we possibly can from shame. The problem is, we are often the ones who bring shame upon ourselves! We are our harshest, meanest, most vicious critiques. Think about it. Would you ever speak to others the way you sometimes speak to yourself? I know I wouldn’t dare!

“We hide behind our rhetoric, and have come to depend on various garments to protect us not so much from the other but from ourselves”, says Thompson. Immediately after reading these words, I asked myself the question? What am I hiding behind? What am I using as a way to hide the parts of me that I am most ashamed of? What things am I using to put on a face that will give others, and myself, the illusion of a spotless self, or maybe simply distract away from the bad? Could it be entertainment, politics, religious practices or beliefs, conspiracy theories, false narratives, relationships...? You name it! We are all, at least I know I am, instinctively looking for a hiding place, a way to distract myself and others from the parts of my life that remind me that I am broken, and left alone, constantly falling short of my most noble intentions. What’s the problem with that? “We cannot expect to know God fully if we are not willing to know ourselves, for one depends on the other.” Did you catch that? We cannot have a loving, life giving relationship with God if we hide from Him. Love needs intimacy, allowing the other “into me see”, and that is impossible if we live our lives hiding, in shame.

Good news! God is safe. You can come out of your hiding! Scripture says that “when we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners” (Romans 5:6). To say it plainly, it is when you looked your most shameful that God loved you the most. There is nothing in you He hasn’t already seen. There is nothing that can discourage Him from loving you. There is nothing that can put Him off about you. Why? Because He is able to see past the ugly parts of you and see what you can be with Him. He loves you as you are today, shame and all, and promises to get rid of the bad, if you let Him.

Again, what are you hiding behind? Why not come out? When it comes to our Heavenly Father, there is no need to hide. He truly likes us.

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