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Shame. This word is something that we try and avoid and one that we certainly don’t want to talk about. The lie of shame is that whatever has made you shameful is best hidden from others.  Certainly not disturbed or brought out into the light. Shame makes you relive the memory again and again, like a child stuck in mud feeling helpless to get out.

I looked at stories in the Bible, looking for how Jesus dealt with shame in people. He was honest and truthful, even when he knew it would hurt the receiver. I put myself in the position of the woman at the well, how she was going to the well at the hottest part of the day to avoid the crowds and whispers of her broken life, and how she was called out by Jesus when she gave a half truth, You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” John 4 :17. Jesus called her out to get at her heart. If you continue the story, you see the great change in her as she was the one hiding before Jesus, but after Jesus her role changed as the presenter of the Messiah to her whole village. Shortly after this, many Samaritans believed.

I saw in the many other stories of shame in the Bible, after pointing out the truth of the situation, Jesus pointed them to the truth of who he was, the Savior and Healer of the world.

Jesus wants every part of us. Even the shameful ones. He calls us out to give the full truth. For how can you fix the problem without acknowledging the whole problem? When helping others deal with shame, empathize and share in it, point out the truth, then point out the truth of Jesus.

Keep pointing out Jesus.

-Ricky Gerlach