Thursday, April 14, 2016

Temptation, Shame, Community

Because of a course we're taking together, our conversation revolved around shame. She said, it's so hard to dig out. And when my shame is so obvious to me, it is so hard to connect to the grace of God.

I agree. 

Later, praying over our interaction, God brought Paul's words nestled in I Corinthians to mind, the way of escape.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.
 God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability,
 but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape,
 that you may be able to endure it."
I Corinthians 10:13

I noted:
     * Temptation is a common issue.
     * God has a fence around temptation.
     * God provides a way of escape.
     * It won't overpower me.

A friend once commented that holiness is living with nothing hidden. Holiness is living in the light. I'm thinking that is the message of I John 1:5-10.

Then my thoughts circled back to Paul and his testimony in Philippians 1. In verses 19 and 20, he declares, 

"through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ
 this will turn out for my deliverance,
 as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be ashamed ..." 

Paul was living in the light with his Philippian community. He was asking for their prayers. And his hope was, he would not be ashamed. 

Community was one key to him not being ashamed. Living in community involves humility.

Questions began to swirl ...

What is more important to me my reputation (or what I think it is) or living in the light?
What is more important, victory from the sin that is causing the shame, or living with it?
Who is my community?
Will I trust them with me, with my humanity, with my shame?
Do I believe there is a way of escape?

What questions do these scriptures bring to your mind?
What is the shame you are in the midst of? 
Will you believe your community can help?
Will you risk living in the light?

If you would like, I'm glad to be a trusted community for you.

Next week my friend David shares his story in a powerful 5 minute video. You won't want to miss hearing this.


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