She was bent over and could not straighten up at all….(Lk 13:11).
The voice of shame can be so powerful. I can recall the many times I have allowed its pressure to keep me from walking in true, lasting freedom.
Jesus has an encounter with a woman in the synagogue who is crippled. She is bent over and unable to straighten up. Jesus says that Satan has bound her for 18 long years. I can’t help but think about how many of us have been bound by shame for many years.
Whenever we are bound in shame it is as if we are bent over with the inability to see ourselves of any value or worth. Yet, Jesus says something quite different about us. He realizes that shame is a tool of the enemy to keep us in chains. Jesus longs for us to walk in freedom, with backs erect and heads lifted up thanks to His mercy.
With our heads bowed low in shame it is difficult to look Him in the eyes and see His deep love for us. However, as we stand tall and assured in our relationship with Him we can look at Him, face to face and experience the tenderness of His deep love for us.
Pause and think about that for a moment. Imagine yourself looking Jesus face to face, locking eyes with one another. Let yourself experience the tenderness and warmth of His love. Ask yourself why you’re quick not to let yourself stay there in that place of tenderness if anything rises up against you to make you feel undeserved of such a place.
Although Jesus is King and much different from us, He does not use His power to shame, belittle or demean us. He uses it to empower us with joy. Do not believe the lie that you are of little value and worth, that your past defines your present or that God desires to hold shame over your head.
You are God’s beloved. You have been set free. You are a new creation. The past is no longer your present and shame is not of God. Claim your victory in Christ and experience His great love for you today!
Jesus, thank you that you love me. I do not have to hide in shame because I have been set free through the cross. Thank you that you love a sinner like me. Thank you that I can look you in the eyes and experience your deep love for Him. Set free those who walk in shame. Help us to see the light of your truth, Amen!