by Andy Castro
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The curse of all curses will seek you out, torture and humiliate you. It berates you publicly and entrances you into believing its' sinister story. Its’ ploy is to keep you prisoner within the falsity of your self-perception. It entices you to marry into its extended family; which includes baggage of a hellish, reoccurring nightmare. You eventually begin to think and speak as it thinks and speaks. Before you know it, you’ve lived a lifetime of self-approved and self-reinforced pain, misery, loneliness and despair.
Yes it's a dreadful curse spoken over you as a mere child. In subtle ways it seeps into your soul, slowly poisoning your thoughts and attitudes. As years pass and you age, it collects the dust of failure as a gentle reminder of your hopelessness. Through these years one may find way to anesthetize the pain only to wake up with more proof for lies borne of the curse.
What is this curse that vexes one's soul? What could be so strongly against us that it secretly imprisons us? But most importantly, why is it set to oppose us? Surpassing shame, it’s not just a curse but also a torture weapon used to harass us, bludgeoning our confidence into a bowl of tasteless mush. The enemy of our soul uses shame through our thoughts and specific people to keep our mighty selves in check. This subtle tool repetitiously speaks to the deepest part of your heart where your dreams, desires and self-worth reside. Just as an amputee feels their phantom leg, shame fools us into feeling phantom chains that hold us.
Shame can steal one's hope of ever truly being desired, useful to our Creator. And isn’t that what followers of Christ really want, to be desired by our Maker.
There's much talk about fulfilling our dreams and desires. I write on this subject but I, more so prefer to discuss the deepest desire humans possess: to be desired. We want to be desired for who we are and not only for how we benefit another person. Wanting to be desired is a driving force in our lives, sometimes for good or for bad outcomes.
Let’s take a look at this wonderful story in John 8: 3-11(Amp) 3When the scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery to Jesus. They made her stand in the middle of the court and presented her case before Him. 4"Teacher," they said, "This woman has been caught in the very act of adultery. 5Moses in the Law commanded us that such [women—offenders] shall be stoned to death. But what do You say [to do with her—what is Your sentence]?" 6This they said to test Him, hoping they might find a charge on which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger. 7However, when they persisted with their question, He raised Himself up and said, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." 8Then He bent down and went on writing on the ground with His finger. 9They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court. 10When Jesus raised Himself up, He said to her, "Woman, where are your accusers? Has no man condemned you?" 11She answered, "No one, Lord!" And Jesus said, "I do not condemn you either. Go on your way and from now on sin no more."
I believe this woman had at some level followed God because in verse 11 she called Him “Lord." I also believe she committed adultery because she thought it would fulfill her deep need to be desired. Haven’t we all done sinful things to fulfill that need? But this story simply sets the example of one reason Jesus came to earth: to break the power of shame. Just as the scribes and Pharisees sought to shame the adulterer, so will organized religion.
The scribes and Pharisees were gladly going to dispose of sin by killing the flesh, exactly what modern religion does. Jesus came to deal with hearts of mankind with grace. Grace lets us know we are desired by God, just because. Condemnation automatically puts us into a place of performance and score keeping. Condemnation brings shame and shame leaves us wondering if God loves us.
Has today's religion, condemnation and shame prompted you to bury your desire to be desired? Has it led you to trying to fill this need through man? Has shame kept you in a vicious cycle of pain and regret? It’s time to renounce shame and break its power over you. How do we do this? We start by accepting God’s relentless love and grace for us, our free will choice to receive it; the same choice the adulterer had. I choose to believe she chose grace and started onto the path of being made whole. I believe her desire to be desired was fulfilled that very moment she experienced grace through Jesus.
If you're living in shame and desire to be desired, ask the Lord to make known to you His grace and abundant love in a way you’ve never experienced before. It'll change your life.
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