Thursday, March 10, 2011
Giving Up Shame
I have never been a faithful observer of the Lenten Season. In years past it felt more like a religious ritual - the act of fasting or giving something up for lent - then anything to do with my relationship with God. But this year I can't help but connect the place that I am in my recovery journey with the observance of Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
Reflecting on and letting go of past baggage.
Repenting of our sins has gotten a bad rap over the years. I'm beginning to understand the deeper reason God says to come to him and confess. The bad choices I have made certainly come as no surprise to Him. He doesn't need me to tell him about them. He already knows.
Nor does he simply want to rub my nose in it. As if some sort of aversion therapy is necessary to bring about my redemption. His word tells me if I am weak and weary to come to Him and rest. No condemnation.
No, I see now that it is not for Gods benefit, this thing called repentance, it is for my own - for as long as I am unwilling to name it, it holds a secret power over me. That power is called shame.
Just as I cannot stuff my feelings - it is necessary for me to feel them and acknowledge them in order to let them go - I cannot stuff my sin and expect to be free.
This year I have decided to give up something for Lent. I am giving up shame.