"One of the most distressing signs
of contemporary times is the denial of guilt."
Fulton John Sheen
by Max Lucado
Crayons of shame run deep. Gorges of never-ending guilt.
Walls ribboned with the greens and grays of death. Unending echoes of screams. Put your hands over your ears. Splash water on your face. Stop looking over your shoulder. Try as you might to outrun yesterday's tragedies--their tentacles are longer than you hope.
Sometimes your shame is private. Pushed over the edge by an abusive spouse. Seduced by a compromising superior. No one else knows. But you know. And that's enough.
Sometimes it's public. Branded by a divorce you didn't want. Contaminated by a disease you never expected. Marked by a handicap you didn't create. And whether it's actually in their eyes or just in your imagination, you have to deal with it--you are marked: a divorcee, an invalid, an orphan, an AIDS patient.
Whether private or public, shame is always painful. and unless you deal with it, it is permanent. Unless you get help--the dawn will never come.
Take him with you to your crayon of shame. Invite Christ to journey with you. Let him stand beside you as you retell the events of the darkest nights of your soul.
And then listen. Listen carefully. He's speaking.
"I don't judge you guilty."
And watch. Watch carefully. He's writing. He's leaving a message. Not in the sand, but on a cross.
Not with his hands, but with his blood.
His message has two words: Not guilty.
Study Guides: Read John 8: 1-11
Think of a well-know person whose failure was covered by the media. How did he or she seem to cope with the shame of failure?
In our society, what things bring shame on a person?
How have you seen the church respond to a person living in shame?
Explain the difference between shame and guilt.
How can we find comfort when we are dealing with shame in our lives?
In what area of life do you need to experience healing from shame?
In what unhealthy ways do some people cope with shame?
How can we tell the difference between feeling convicted of sin and feeling needlessly shamed?
The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus by Max Lucado General Edition - New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Bibles, page 861