Why is it whenever we try to work on teaching someone else, we usually end up being the one doing most of the learning?
I work with our church’s youth group. It is mostly junior high and high school students. I love it! I really didn’t feel equipped to teach these kids when God called me and to be honest I still don’t.
I have been known to procrastinate from time to time and this last week was no different. It would be really wise to prepare my youth group lesson a week or so ahead of time, but alas that seldom happens.
So this past Wednesday I found myself in a bit of a pickle. I had blocked off the time to work on the lesson but so many things kept creeping into that block of time. Distractions! Mostly of my own doing but a couple of other people were bumping into my schedule as well.
The final straw was when my husband came in and asked me to get lunch ready for a fencing crew I didn’t know anything about. By the way, could I have it ready in 30 minutes too?
Wow, that ran smack into me at my breaking point. You guessed it, I didn’t handle it well at all.
I snapped at my husband and told him how busy I was and not in words but that it was far more important than him. I stewed and fumed for quite a while over it to boot.
Then a funny feeling snuck in. I felt bad for my actions. I was convicted of my sin right there in the middle of my youth group lesson planning.
So I walked to the freezer to get some meat out and come up with something that I could put together on short notice. Right there, with my head in the freezer, guilt turned to shame. I started to beat myself up and even out loud said what a horrible person I am.
Notice an important part here. I had moved past the fact that the sin I had committed was bad and very quickly turned it to myself and how bad I was.
In the past I would have wallowed in that pit of shame for days. Letting that wound fester and grow and maybe even scab over to try and cover up my shame.
You see, when you’re in a relationship with God, shame has a tendency to cause you to hide from the Lord. A good example is Adam and Eve after they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. They heard God coming and hid from him.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8
I don’t want to hide my sin from God. I want to bring it to Him and we can work it out together.
God wants an abundant life for us. The John 10:10 life. He doesn’t want us to walk around with our head hanging down ashamed.
Our sins will make us feel guilty because of our righteousness in God. As we mature in our walk with the Lord we will come to feel that more quickly. We’re reminded that guilt says “My sin is bad” and shame says, “I am bad”.
Shame causes us to hide from God. Guilt causes us to run back to God.
So when shame tries to grab a hold of you and pull you away from Christ, stand firm in God’s truth. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1 (NLT)
Lord, help us to recognize quickly when we have sinned. Make us sensitive to the prick of guilt so we will turn back to you quickly. Please help us to see shame for what it is and never try to hide from You. In Jesus mighty name, Amen.