The Shame of Should...Part I

Disclaimer:  I am no Advanced Theology Scholar...but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  But seriously, just sounding out these thoughts.  

When God is teaching me something, I feel like I keep hearing it over and over from different places.  Every sermon, every paragraph, every scripture will point towards a central theme that the Lord is etching into my heart.  Lately, I keep hearing about and thinking about our shame.  It seems like so many of us, as believers, are walking around carrying loads of accusations about what we should be doing and what we should be.  We see ourselves as desperately bogged down, heavy-laden with guilt about our short-comings and failures.  We project those feelings of shame onto the Lord and we feel that we need to do more to be fully accepted by Christ.

On the contrary, scripture says:

I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, - Isaiah 61:10a

He has already fully accepted us by the blood of Jesus.  We have been clothed in his Righteousness.  We don't work to earn our robes of righteousness.  He has done all the work on the cross.  (Incidentally, this may be the Gospel 101 but it is what I need preached to my heart everyday.)

A stark contrast to the shame of should is the beckoning of love.  Because we are so extravagantly loved, we are free to love others without expectations or guilt.  Instead of carrying the weight of every "should" and accusation that the enemy thrusts upon us, we are free to just say "Yes" to the next step towards which he calls us and trust God with the rest.  We are free to be a part of his beautiful work of redemption in the world because we're not paralyzed and overwhelmed by our shame.

 Saying "yes" to the next person, task, moment and not being overwhelmed by every "should" in the world requires communing with Him.  And to meet with Him is a joyful requirement, not a "should"!  Abiding in Him, drawing near to Him is the remedy for the shame of all my shoulds.

My deepest need is the revelation of His love for me.  The joy and freedom that it brings breaks off my heaviness and shame.  I can bring every "should" before Him, cast it at his feet and simply take on worship and friendship with Him...saying "yes" to the next step because His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  -1 Peter 2:9