“So why are you airing our dirty laundry in front of the world? They already hate us, why give them ammunition?”
Someone online told me that a few weeks ago about something I wrote concerning us Christians. Their fear was that I was adding more fuel to an already ugly fire. Their concern was that the world already feels we’re hypocritical or fake or unloving, do we really want to agree with them? And I honestly thought they were asking a very smart, kind-hearted question. Should we really admit our bumps and bruises and failures?
The easy answer is yes. Like the show Burn Notice having LeBron James do a cameo now that he plays for Miami, the answer is simple. Yes. Yes we should be honest about our mistakes. Yes we should be real about our stumbles. Yes we should be open about our faults. But there’s something else at work that I want to discuss. Something a little devious. Something I realized recently.
Satan likes to throw shame at the very things we are called to share.
He likes to tell you that failure is something to put a coat of paint over. He likes to tell you that no one will ever understand. He likes to tell you that if people really knew you, they wouldn’t love you. He likes to tell you to push things deep and into the darkest spots of who you are. He likes to fan the flames of regret and ask you to hold heavy things you were never meant to carry.
Because he is afraid.
In God’s hands, your mistakes are not open cuts, they are healed scars that tell stories of great hope. They are not wounds to lie about, they are words other people need to hear. They are warning signs on roads your friends and family and neighbors are on. They are lighthouses in the midst of stormy weather. They are neon signs he uses to point the way toward repentance.
They are something to share.
I believe that when we roll up our sleeves and reveal healed scars, we reveal a God who makes us brand new. I believe that when we tell friends the truth about regrets, we tell friends about a God who knows no condemnation. I believe that when we tear off the wrapping paper of hurt, we show the gift of hope inside.
I believe in the power of share.
I don’t know what you believe about those two words, shame and share. They are so closely wound together and yet so opposite. They share everything but a single letter. The “r” is the only thing that changes “shame” to “share.” One little “r,” but it changes everything.
To me, the r stands for reborn.
To me, the r stands for renewed.
To me the r stands for redeemed.
One simple r, one continuous decision to chose share over shame. A one letter difference, but what a difference it makes. We see it when Christ returns. When overcome with doubt, what do the disciples do to verify the truth? To know that hope is real and returned?
They touch his scars.
Roll up your sleeves today.
Don’t hide. Don’t give in to shame.