“No one who hopes in you will ever be put to shame, but shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.”
It was – well, sticky.
The kind of sticky where a paper towel just moves it around and makes the whole thing worse. Even a warm cloth seemed to just spread the substance farther afield and enlarge the problem. In the end, it took a lot of elbow grease and some very wet Lysol wipes to deal with the substance on the floor.
I still have no idea what it was.
I’m not sure that I want to.
It wasn’t my mess at all. But I had stepped in it, and it was now stuck to my shoe. And it was going to do the rounds with me on said shoe all day unless I did something about it.
Such is life.
Sometimes, someone else’s mistake ends up on our shoe, so to speak. We walked into trouble, and the residue sticks. There are consequences. Someone’s anger intrudes upon our peace. An accident creates a scenario where we need to pay for repairs. A selfish choice means our need goes unmet.
Even worse are the deeper wounds, those that leave a mark not on our skin but on our mind and soul. And somehow, these are the ones that leave us with a sticky mess, a mound of shame that follows us through life with every step.
Abuse will do that.
It’s not your fault.
But it sticks to you.
It’s so sticky. It’s so smelly. And everything you know to do just rubs it hopelessly around, and makes everything worse.
If this is you, that shame does not belong to you.
Here’s just one of the beautiful promises you need to hold on to – when you put your hope in Jesus, that shame gets placed fully where it belongs: in the hands of the abuser.
See, grace is slick. It’s shame-proof. The One who bore all the shame of the world to save you guarantees that your faith will give you a lovely sheen.
You know, keep you squeaky clean.
So the shame won’t stick.
All that sticky, gooey mess is going to end up on the right fingers in the end.
If you’ve stepped in someone else’s mess – or if someone’s deliberately shameful actions ended up harming you, stand tall. Head back. It’s time to set that burden down.
It was never yours to pick up.
Let these words sink in.
Not. Your. Mess.
And there is hope – hope in the Name of the One who died to absorb all the mess of the world with His purity.
I’m still learning this one.
It takes time, to be honest, after a lifetime smeared with shame – but the freedom I’ve gained has given me hope that more freedom is ahead.
Explore new ways to keep that shame from sticking to you with me?
Father, we are so prone to stepping into sticky messes here. Thank You for making the provision we needed so that we don’t need to accept the shame that belongs to others. Help us to understand how Your love can shift that shame. Amen.