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If You Have Ever Dealt With Shame, This Open Letter is For You

Dear Todd,

Shame is a sucky feeling. It wears uncomfortably, like a heavy wool coat on a hot summer’s day. Suffocating, it makes you run for cover but not for relief from the sun, you run to hide. Being seen like this is embarrassing and God only knows what “they” might think if you’re seen like this. Then it hits you…God knows. The shame then sinks its teeth ever deeper into your flesh and you run. As fast as you can your feet hit the pavement one after the other trying to distance yourself from this God who knows your guilty and no jury could possibly free you from the punishment you know you deserve.

The road was long and shame kept you on the run but yesterday you stopped running when you emailed me asking:

“If I am a sinner, why would God love me? I feel so far away from where I should be and I hate it. I just don’t know what to do.”

Now you’re standing there in the middle of the road. Shame in front of you telling you to run, but something in your gut begs you to turn around. You’re standing there, petrified, do you run or do you dare turn around? What’s going to be behind you if you do turn around? What’s going to happen if you don’t keep running?

Todd, you’re not alone. I’ve run down this road, I know where it leads and most importantly I know what’s standing right behind you.

REDEMPTION. 

Shame is something that separates you from the love of God by confusing you into thinking you’re no longer worthy of receiving it. Our brains then tell us we need to fix ourselves first, so then and only then will God love us again. But here’s the harsh truth: WE CAN’T FIX OURSELVES, WE ARE SINNERS AND IMPERFECT PEOPLE CAN’T FIX THEIR OWN IMPERFECTIONS.

Our imperfection isn’t a surprise to God, in fact He loved us even in the midst of our imperfection. Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Yes, He knew you would sin. Yes, He still chose to die for you. Yes, He still wants to love you even in your imperfection and shame. Yes, you can still turn around.

NOW YOU CHOOSE.

God chose to send his Son to die for our sins. Jesus chose to walk that out on the cross. So we could choose to accept his love and grace and walk with him. But we have to choose it. You’re standing there in the middle of the road, feet weary from running but now something is whispering in your ear to stop and turn around. Its amazing grace. How sweet the sound. That grace saved a wretch like me and yes, even you Todd. I once was lost but now I’m found. So turn around and walk into the loving arms of your Savior. His love for you knows no end and its been right behind you this whole time, waiting, for a moment like this. Now choose it.

Praying for you Todd.

 

Your brother in Christ,

Carlos

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