Today I was trying to work out- trying to do something good for myself- I was trying to do the right thing and then all of us a sudden, out of nowhere this mean and huge wasp flies in and attacks my neck. I try to pull the thing off of me and it's a real struggle and then I run. I run into my house screaming and grab ice and it hurts and stings and hurts. But I don't go to that shed any more, and continue my life like normal inside, trying to ignore the stinging.
For me, sin sometimes does the same thing. It's often totally out of nowhere, unsuspected, out of the blue- me trying to do right- and then all of a sudden, something creeps in. And I sin, and I mess up, and I fall on my face and make myself a disgrace, and yell, and scream.. and then I RUN. I run away from it and I run inside and change directions and and try to continue my life like normal, trying to avoid the pain and shame.
But shame doesn't just go away on it's own.
I've always been a runner. I remember when I was 16 and was frustrated with this guy about something dumb. Annoyed at myself and the conflict, I avoided him for an entire week. We had used to be best friends, but I just stopped talking to him. It wasn't fair at all- but for me, I just couldn't deal with the problem, so I ran. I hate conflicts. I hate problems and confrontation. I'll run millions of miles in order to avoid someone who I've had issues with.
I mean sometimes it seems so much easier to run then to face the truth. Sometimes we have this shame that we could hide for so long and just thinking about laying it out exposed and vulnerable makes us wanna scream.
But is God ok with running? What do we do with our shames and sins? What do we do when we mess up and it affects other people? And what do we do when we are leaders and people have better expectations of us and then we just ruin everything (or so it may seem to us at the time). Sin hurts and it stinks and it stings, but we can't just run forever.
Where does sin, shame, fear, insecurity, doubt, and anger all come from? They come from the Devil? Thus where must we run when we feel any of these things? We must run to the arms of our Heavenly Father. No it doesn't mean that our mistakes won't have consequences and that immediately we will have all the answers. We can't change the way we think in a few days or our sinful patters quickly. But our Heavenly Father offers us forgiveness, grace, love. He wants to take our shame. He died on the cross for us so that he could say "I love you even more than this."
In 1 John 2:1 Christ says that of course He doesn't want us to sin. But if we do sin, we have an advocate waiting to defend us. This advocate is here to cover us up and to say "No do not be ashamed because the grace of God has covered you." Jesus Christ, our advocate, says "Don't hide from me. Nothing you do can ever make me love you less."
May God forgive us for our sins as likewise we forgive those who have hurt us and may God give us the courage to be honest with ourselves, with God, and even with one another to expose our mistakes and sins so that we can begin to overcome.