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The Secret Remedy for Shame

Hope … maketh not ashamed, for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. Patience found itself through tribulation and then through that patience came experience, and experience birthed hope? Of course, we know the Bible. Hope maketh not ashamed. I love that end product, I wonder about the other stuff.

Contrasted in Hopelessness.

Hope means nothing to us unless contrasted in hopelessness. Shame surfaces in the midst of unrelenting dires of living hell, bombarding mankind from externalities unseen. Our existence and it’s shame abide synonymous. Hope, however, makes us not ashamed. Hope changes a root. Hope deadens a curse, revokes a penalty, releases from fear. Nevertheless, that darned shame battles to retain its ground.

How Strange a Remedy

Tribulation worketh? How strange a remedy; “tribulation” – not release from shame yet, but step 1 builds patience? Couldn’t God think of another way? I must admit that tribulation takes my eyes off my shame. Is there a hint here? Pain consciousness forbids shame consciousness? Forthrightly, when the oft “thlipsis” of narrow straits squeezes the through-way, I jump unashamedly into expressing my displeasure.

oft 'thlipsis' of narrow straits squeezes the through-way, I jump unashamedly into expressing displeasure. Click To Tweet

In fact, I straightly ignore my shame, expose it, and proceed, not really caring who thinks what, now. Is there another way?

Constraining Re-direction.

The good thing about abrasive events is that they remove my inhibitions and embolden my inner self. This freedom, however, must find some constraining re-direction. Let’s direct the energy, as weird as that force is, and keep, at the same time, our distance from shame. How is this giving me patience? Well, patience enables me to abide beneath my situations and hell. It removes me from the front lines of battle into the foxhole of shelter. The bombs can’t get at me here.

“Come to Ourselves”

So, to reiterate, fire lights up under the shame-exposed human’s foot and sets him in motion, toward a continuous hiding, bomb-shelter style, and this is what we have? Yeah, and Amen. Like the prodigal in his self-imposed pigpen, we “come to ourselves” enough to run and hide from that guilt-laden place.

Sweet Experience

Well, what next? Experience, sweet experience, we approach your back door. The experiment, the “dokimazo”, the proving, the God-regulated test tube, the sent conditions unfurl themselves. It is meant for our approval rating. This means, of course, God’s approval, but also effects our capacity to approval of ourselves. It trains and conditions.

Again, the updated summary goes: crap flies, some hits my fan, I awaken, I duck into the bomb shelter – again and again. It’s a drill, and I’m getting darn good at it. Here goes my story:

My Concrete Room

Well, well what have we here? A box of Corn-Flakes and bottled water.

But listen to this; last time down in the shelter I brought fig-newtons and coffee and a pot to make it Click To Tweet

I am seeing the need to outfit my concrete room for more comfort. After all, I am so often here. I am moving my microwave in there and toaster, my Bible and study books. I still need plants and a fish-bowl. It’s my home away from home.

There are many things I have grown to like about my covered edifice. The most important is this: I’m safe there. The flying projectiles explode at the walls. They can’t get through to me. I’m relaxing more now. I discovered a secret back entrance to the place. This is where my friend enters and shares time with me, and purpose – his name, of course, is Jesus.

This New Friend, Jesus

He assures me that though we are holed up here for now, we are going out that back door some day and it will be into Beulah land. In that place, no one ever dies, no one ever suffers, and no one ever cries. When we go there, we will never go back to the flying missiles. No argument there!

This new friend, Jesus, kind and caring, identifying with my needy life, but assuring me and encouraging, creates an expectation. He is “Christ in me, the hope of glory.” He tells me that when He appears in glory, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. I am liberated unto a future; I am ecstatic about what my life is to become.

God’s Kind of Love Releases Me

Finally, love pours out in my heart. This love-glue convinces hope. It exists sure, an anchor for the soul. God’s kind of love releases me from all that is flaky and not guaranteed because it includes His self-sacrificing commitment, suffering dedication, and never-forsaking permanence. Hope would surely fade with the least bit of doubt, but He exclaims, “I am the Lord God, I change not.” Then we read, “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever,” in Ecclesiastes 3:14.

He is all-powerful, all-knowing. He is present everywhere. Lastly, and most specially endearing, He is with me, even until the end of the world.

Tom Sliva

Tom Sliva

Born in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Pastor Sliva went to Bible college in Massachusetts at the Stevens School of the Bible in !982. He and his family moved to Baltimore in1987 to be a part of Greater Grace World Outreach. From there, he served in Prescott, Arizona, and Indianapolis, Ind. Ordained upon his return to Baltimore in 1995, Pastor Sliva was afflicted with brain cysts in the late 90's and stayed at home base until his recovery in 2002. He then assisted with ministries in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh before resettling in Baltimore due to his son's sudden illness and death. Pastor Sliva is a colon cancer survivor and has been part of Pastoral care team at Greater Grace since 2008. He is also a writer of his blog at http://tsliva.blogspot.com and leader of the Grief Share group.
Tom Sliva

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Comments(2)

  1. Reply
    EDWARD BOBAK says

    Yes Pastor Sliva has Great insight and is a gift to us all! My older sister was dying from 3 brain anurysms that burst in her brain..After 61/2 hours of surgery she survived…I never prayed an imprecatory prayer like that day…I truly love my sister…She is a strong believer… The short term memmory center was damaged and she list her short term memory…I’ve never heard her refer to falures or past issues that don’t glorify God…” She is full.of Great Joy everyday..!!”.. I believe this is a great example of how our brains work Pastor Tom, you see she really CAN’T REMEMBER!!.. No sin issue bother her at all..She cant remember what to be SHAMEFUL for!!.. This woman is full of Thankfullness everyday! .. Maybe the doctors could do this for us all but till then its Great to read these encouraging words!! Well done!!

  2. Reply
    Tom Sliva says

    Thanks for the edifying comment, Ed

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