Fasting from Shame (Day 2)
One reason Christians struggle with shame is that we value the call to humility. To embrace one’s worth might feel like the sin of pride. Arrogance runs rampant in our society. We see the damage it does to relationships on all levels, from the personal to the national to the global. We don’t want to be like those people.
But humility is not a matter of accepting shame as an ever-present force. Sober judgement, when applied to self-image, embraces that we have been “fearfully and wonderfully made,” while at the same time recognizing that we are “in bondage to sin and cannot free ourselves.” Humility involves letting go of the shame that says “I am not enough” and focusing instead on the gift of guilt through which God fuels repentance and the amendment of our sinful lives.
This is not a new concept. St. Augustine in 211 CE wrote “Love the sinner but hate the sin.” Martin Luther’s concept of being simultaneously saint and sinner offers the same truth. We are enough by virtue of our Creator’s love and grand design, even as we are also eternally broken and unable to achieve perfection to earn God’s love.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
Let us pray:
Lord God, fill me with sober judgement to recognize those ways I fail to live as your beloved child, those areas of my life in which I need to repent, and the many opportunities to serve your people. But also fill me with the knowledge that you designed me, just as I am, and that you love me, just as I am. We pray in the name of the one who handed bread to Judas, saying “This is my body, given for you.”
Please contact the church office if you’d like to receive the daily devotions through email.
Tags: devotions, fasting, Lent, shame