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SHAME OR RELEASE?

Shame says to people, 'You're not a good enough Christian,' 'Get more Christian-y,' 'Seriously, why aren't you a better Christian by now, I've been saying this like forever...?' In some ways, shame can be really good at getting us moving - but often in the wrong direction: 'Wow, I am awful, I'd better keep my head down.'

The problem is, when we hear and take in the message of shame, our lives get smaller and we shrink into ourselves. We cordon off our world and live far smaller than the one God has planned.

If you've ever been embarrassed or shamed by others, either privately or in public, know this: love is the main way to recover healthily. God's way is release. Conviction (His wake-up call to get our lives on track) leads to release. Condemnation (wallowing in fear, guilt or shame over a sin) doesn't; it loops you back into yourself. God only calls you out on sin to help you get out of the sin and pull you close to Him. If you feel yourself being convicted of something, deal with it, be turned away from it and walk on in the right direction - be released!

So what now? Whenever you feel led to point out a flaw or sin of someone else's (and please do it with genuine love; it's generally not cool to flat out criticise people), make the choice to support them through the change. After the initial 'Hey, I think God is saying this to you,' ask if they'd like any help in working through the issue.

Soulfood : Deut 18-21, Mk 5:11-20, Ps 37:32-40, Prov 12:4-6

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