Written by: Laura Duncan one of our secret weapons who will be speaking at the ManAlive Experience this weekend. .
Compassion is the antidote for shame. For many years, I thought shame was a form of conviction. When I felt shame I thought it would lead me to repentance and then I would be able to grow closer to God. Shame is not conviction of sin. Shame covers up of who God created us to be. In our shame, we separate ourselves from God, the most devastating act we will ever do in this life. When Adam and Eve ate of the knowledge of good and evil their eyes were opened and they hid themselves from God. God came to them personally in their sin. He called them out of hiding and covered them. He gave them consequences for their sins, and in his mercy had them leave the garden so they wouldn’t be stuck in sin forever. Through the repentance of sin and the blood of Jesus we have been restored to God original design, restored to right relationship. (Col 1:20-21) We are no longer seen for what we do, we are seen for who we are. Why then are there so many Christians still hiding in the “bushes”? Why do we continue to eat of the knowledge of good hoping to better ourselves and eat from the knowledge of evil hoping to protect ourselves? The answer is we still live in shame. The only antidote for shame is compassion. Jesus was moved with compassion and healed all those that came to him. Picture this, Jesus sees a person and has such tender affectionate love towards them, that it erupts out of him and heals them. We may focus on the healing but the true miracle is compassion. To receive Jesus’s compassion in our own lives we must go back to when we first experienced shame. Our eyes are opened to the knowledge of good and evil in our early childhood development. During these formative years we begin to cover up who we are and hide from ourselves, God, and others. Shame looks like any area in our life that we don’t believe we are seen, heard, accepted, valued, or good enough. When I was a little girl I thought I had to make my world ok, so I could be ok. I helped my parents in their chaos hoping that if they had what they needed they could give me what I needed. My shame was, I needed to be good in order to gain acceptance and connection. Looking back I was able to give my younger self compassion, in the same way I would give compassion to my own children. Through compassion, I knew I was ok even if my external world still felt chaotic. When our hearts experience compassion, we will become tender and allow God and others to come close. We will no longer hide in the bushes but we will walk with God and talk with God. We will be restored to innocence, restored to the garden