The response to my blog, Shame On Me, was overwhelming! It breaks me that so many people are hurting and can relate to what I wrote.
What can we do to stop the fruit of the enemy’s work from spreading?
I’m a fixer…can you tell? Even though sometimes, I can make the biggest messes.
I sat with my husband this morning over coffee and we just talked about what it would look like if we (Christians…aka the Church…aka the Body of Christ) took on the same mindset as the military.
Leave no man behind.
I couldn’t shake it…So I looked up what that really meant and I found this article…here are some snippets…
The principle of leaving no one behind — no matter the cost — is deeply embedded in the U.S. military. Those in uniform believe that no stone will be left unturned to get them home if they fall into enemy hands.
“I will stand in the hallway [of the Pentagon] and I will stop the first five people who walk by in military uniform, regardless of their gender. I will explain to them what the mission is; I will ask them if they will volunteer to get on the helicopters (to go into enemy territory and rescue JUST ONE MAN). And I guarantee you that all five of them will volunteer.”
What if a soldier held by the enemy behaves shamefully? It happens.
Do such cases mean we ought to somehow try to calculate in advance who is (or is not) worthy of our best efforts to bring them home?
The answer must be no.
What if Christians took on that same mindset?…the answer must be no…no matter how shamefully a brother or sister acts…we just can’t leave them behind.
We must go into enemy territory and drag them out if we have too…because they are wounded. They need us. Is it possible to look past the sin and see the person?
A person made in the image of God. A person who hurts as deeply as you. A person who fails as many times a day as you.
Sin brings consequences…some more than others. That is just a fact. You can’t run from the consequences that sin brings.
I’m not talking about taking away the consequences.
I’m talking about what would it look like if we showed love in a way that made them feel…that they matter…even when they fail.
You know…Like Jesus does.
When my adultery was first publicly exposed…it took about six months before I could even leave my home because I was so ashamed. When I had to go out, I would have fantasies of a wheel falling off my van and running off the road to hit a tree and be killed. I wanted out.
My heart breaks when remembering the Ashley Madison scandal. A pastor, along with millions of others, was exposed as being a partaker of Ashley Madison’s services—secret affairs.
He sunk so deeply and quickly into shame…It swallowed him whole and he took his own life.
Shame is a dangerous place to leave a man behind. And we shouldn’t. The answer must be no.
Jesus says the answer must be no. You read it all through Scripture…He is a pursuer of the broken, the shamed, the sick…the sinners.
Mark 2:16-17 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that Jesus was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
I outright sinned against God…and what did He do? He disciplined me by exposing my sin…and then He set about to love me and heal me.
What was my response? Repentance…deep, grateful, ongoing repentance.
Romans 2:4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
Sighs. Isn’t He beautiful?
Let me show you…in your Bible…how God sees you and pursues you. No matter what you have done. Your sin can NEVER be bigger than God’s love towards you. It is not too late.
John, chapter 4…I’m gonna paraphrase so PLEASE go read it for yourself.
The woman at the well…a Samaritan woman.
Her life was full of sin…and shame. She didn’t go out with the others early in the morning to get the water that she needed. Instead, she picked the time of day when no one else would be around.
Because she was just too ashamed. She had made a lot of bad choices, had already been through five husbands and was now living with a man who wasn’t her husband. You can only imagine what people thought of her or maybe even said to her or about her. Believe me…she thought the same thing of herself…other people just helped to confirm that she was right about herself.
Can you FEEL that hopelessness?
In verse 4, it says “Now He (Jesus) had to go through Samaria.”
Jews do NOT associate with Samaritans…(verse 9)
They were so serious about not having anything to do with THOSE people, if there was any traveling to do to get to the other side of Samaria…they would travel all the way AROUND Samaria…just to avoid any of THOSE people.
Kind of sounds a little like some of my grocery store trips that I wrote about in the Shame on Me blog.
So why in the world…in verse 4…would it say that Jesus HAD to go through Samaria?
Because He had an appointment with a sweet little Samaritan woman who came to get her water in the heat of the day…when no one else would be around to see her.
Today would be the day that she would notice that she was being pursued by the Savior of the world.
Jesus pursued her…and exposed the most vulnerable places in her and then she believed that He was the Messiah…the Savior of the World.
You better believe she repented! How else could she run off loudly, boldly, wildly into town hollering about another man in her life?
But this man was different.
And then…check out Verse 39…MANY of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony…and when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days. And because of His words MANY MORE became believers.
John 3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
No man left behind.
What would it look like for you to live like this on a daily basis?
I don’t know what it would look like for you personally but Jesus tells us ALL what the first step is…
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near. (Matthew 4:17)