It’s not just that our cancel culture loves to shame people. Many people live with shame without anyone even calling them out. Counselors and mental health professionals will tell you that there are way more people than you realize who are carrying heavy burdens of guilt, regret, and self-loathing.
How do you deal with shame? Well, most people hide it. That’s the default. Bottle it up inside and make sure no one ever sees or hears about it. But that doesn’t make it go away. Like a pounding tell-tale heart, it just gets louder and more and more inescapable.
Or you can let it out. Deal with shame by being shameless. Laugh about it. Celebrate it. Make sure no one ever makes you feel guilty for being you or for the things in your past. But letting it all out doesn’t make it go away either. It’s still there in the dark of night—haunting and tormenting shame.
God lays out a third option. Sadly, it’s one few people take. But it’s the only one that really works. He says: “Don’t excuse it. Don’t celebrate it. And definitely don’t stuff it. Just give it to me. All your shame in all its ugliness. I’ll take it away and make sure it’s gone forever. Come to me. You’re safe and free from all your shame.”
That’s what happened at the cross of Christ. Your punishment and shame dealt with. That’s what happens when someone is baptized. It’s washed away forever. That’s what happens when people hear God forgive them. He says it again: “I still love you. There’s nothing in you that makes me ashamed to call you my child.” That’s what happens when someone is in Christ. They’re free.
It’s the only way to truly deal with shame.
“In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame” (Psalm 71:1).
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