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Take off the Raincoat

The awareness of shame is a reckoning with lost innocence, the realization that one now has the potential to hurt another and be hurt, to honor God and to dishonor Him.   Shame is the pervasive effect and affect of sin. Shame is the raincoat of the soul, repelling the living water that would otherwise establish us as the beloved of God.

Andrew Comisky

“…[C]lothed with shame, and let them cover themselves with their own confusion, as with a mantle” (Psalm 109:29)

Covering

The business of putting on a covering is not new to us. Adam and Eve did it with fig leafs, and it protected their nakedness. In a sense, we could say that it was a good try at hiding their shame. Nevertheless, putting on shame, confusion, and cursing is not our recommended means for covering shame, most times.

Or, is it?

Making light of God’s missed blessings

So, if we take these false coverings with Comisky’s definitions, and apply them to our consciousness as a mask for shame, we create an attitude that makes light of God’s missed blessings. We see a mindset developed with a wounded disposition, a hurt. As we foster our hurt, we are pre-disposed mentally to hurt something or someone else. We gather these clothings until a synthesis of “personality” takes hold, and they become “us” as we develop them further.

Taking on the “affect”

We push back now at the potential for receiving the love of God because that is what deceitfulness does. We are “effected” by sin and then take on the “affect” of sin and its disposition. We contemplate the rights of the sinful state; an authority to do as we please. We flirt with the pleasure of potential temptation because our hurt gives us a privilege to.

Once sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve’s sin, sin became a soul-winner. Click To Tweet
To take it a step further, shame has its own life. It uses the shame-cause, which is separation from God, and assumes the devil’s disposition to remain in the separation. Once sin entered the human race through Adam and Eve, sin became a soul-winner. It preaches the gospel of sin; a free life, gratification-now, emotional appeasement today, and some very pleasurable times coming.
It springs out of resentment toward God and then everything/everybody else. “After all, God created such an unfair, dangerous world, where it is possible to find peace?” “People don’t understand, they just want to use us,” we say.

My soul is even as a weaned child

“LORD, my heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: neither do I exercise myself in great matters or in things too high for me. Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother: my soul is even as a weaned child. Let Israel hope in the LORD from henceforth and forever” (Psalm 131: 1-3)

Have you ever felt abandoned by men or God? This question was posed to me recently and my answer was “yes.” As the feeling grows, added to it are many ugly self-copings as spoken of above. Sour grapes, feelings of abuse, unfairness, and rejection fester and rise as leaven. “God has forsaken me, I have failed Him, I have sinned too badly, and I cannot be pardoned!!”

You must find a “new” God.

Now, the question came to me, “What do you do?” My answer went this way: “You must find a ‘new’ God. ” Obviously, your choice is this: succumb to the failure — “curse God and die” — or be weaned, be weaned, be weaned.

What do I mean? I mean leave the “God of your experience” and discover the God of Unconditional love. Friend, get in your Bible and let Him lead you to these thoughts about Him: His arms underneath, Him “upholding” you by His hand, His never leaving or forsaking you, the Friend who loves at all times.

“Brother born for adversity”

We now need the “Brother born for adversity,” the “ever present help in times of trouble,” and the one “not ashamed to call us brethren.” We must discover the God who has our names “graven on His palms,” who says, “thou art fair my love, there is no spot in thee.” This same God spoke to Israel and said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love” and “Let us build again, O virgin Israel.”

Beloved, forward movement comes with a total priority change. Click To Tweet

Beloved, forward movement comes with a total priority change, a new focus, an objective mental stance, and a determination to guard the mind and heart. The characteristic common to this time of weaning is the idea of “new.” New God brings the “new me.”

From mental knowledge to heart experience

Lastly, like a baby growing up, there is a move from liquids to solid foods. “Strong meats” in the Bible refers to experiencing or applying of the words we hear. In a sense, this is the movement; from mere mental-knowledge to heart-experience. This wean/shift translates us into the future, moves us out of our emotional premise and begins an objective excitement where our determination involves itself. Summarily, find the Father of Mercy and God of all comfort. He is bigger than your soul filled with rejection.

Love ya.

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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