Shame

I’ve been working at a new job in a new position for a couple of months now, and while I know I am qualified and confident in my ability to do the job, sometimes I still have a sneaking suspicion that one day I will make a mistake so big that it will require a great cost of me. While that has still yet to happen, in the last couple of days there was a question that came from a different department of a large sum/cost that required some explanation. I know that I was involved and responsible for the arranging of the event, but I could’ve never known the final number it amounted to. The funny thing is that as my other co-workers have been asked and approached by our higher ups about the charge in question, I suddenly started to find myself wanting to hide to dodge the questions. If you have ever hid from someone, you know the feeling I’m talking about – staying on constant alert to avoid crossing paths with said person(s), and feeling the stress of hearing their voice(s) and wondering when you might finally be cornered.

It’s a sense of shame that you never realize how deeply can affect you until you are in it, and it breeds a voice that reminds you of all the ways you are guilty, can’t measure up, or are not capable. It’s a shame that drives you to hide away, and you reason to yourself, “If they don’t get to me, they will never find out.”

It reminds me so easily of the story of the fall in Genesis, how quickly Adam & Eve’s shame in the deeds they have done drove them to cover and hideaway from their Creator. The fact that I can still feel it so deeply as a human being thousands of years later, only points to the reality that our struggle with sin is far from over. But unlike the story in the Garden of Eden, I know I have freedom found in Christ conquering the grave that allows me to not be shackled by living with the shame of my sins. Furthermore, I know that the cost that I was supposed to pay for the mistakes and wrongs that I’ve made is covered fully by Him. The cost was great, and the price was paid, and I never had to taste an ounce of the wrath that was meant for me.

Obviously that doesn’t exactly solve the problem I have of accounting for something that I could’ve taken more steps to investigate carefully in a work environment, and for many others, living in freedom apart from shame is not as simple as hearing that from someone. My human nature reminded me so simply of what is often still embedded in our bloods as a reaction and response, yet the good news is that because of Christ, the shame that we feel and live with is only temporary. To date, I am still waiting at the edge of my seat for the phone on my desk to ring or for the doors to open and I have give an explanation. But I know I can face my bosses with confidence and know that this too shall pass.

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