Shame can be a vicious disease, atrophying our courage. Is overcoming shame even possible? A simple dose of Truth can go a long way in finding the Cure.
The Australian frilled-necked lizard is a sight to behold. As if a 3 foot lizard wasn’t unique enough, this guy is equipped with a built-in fan which encircles his head. At the first sign of danger he (or she) unfurls that wild frill in an attempt to show the world who’s boss.
If I ever met one of these guys in the wild, I think he would find his defensive behavior to be quite effective. I have no desire to cross paths with a 3 foot fan-wielding dragon.
Interestingly enough, this lizard is pretty much harmless. He is not venomous and at the first sign of push back he is known to tuck tail and run for cover.
What a unique creature, right?
Or maybe not.
I think I have met a few frill-necked people in my life. The ones with crusty outer shells, who throw out a frilled fan at the first sign of insecurity or vulnerability. Any perceived threat has them firing off defensive behaviors that aren’t exactly welcoming.
Worse yet, I think I’ve been one of those people. Occasionally in front of others, I’m sure, but even more often, in front of God.
In makes no sense, but it’s true.
Me, the humble created, showing off. Putting on airs, before God. And yet I do.
I want to be good, do good, be better, do better and maybe somehow, just a little, impress him.
This morning I read Psalms 103 and was captivated by His heart for those who fear Him, but verse 14 made me stop short.
He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.
Let that one settle for a moment.
He hasn’t forgotten. He knows, he remembers my humility, even when I haven’t.
I’ve had these moments with my own children, moments when I wonder when, when will they ever learn to be less selfish, more gracious or generous or kind. Sometimes they act so childish.
My own thoughts confound me. Maybe they act this way…because they are children?
Oh yes, there’s that.
Far too often I am only half a step ahead of them in developing those character traits anyhow, but remembering where they are, who they are, their unique personality traits and giftings, their honest heart in the growing – it’s everything. My frustrations and posture melts as I recall what a gift it is to be apart of the process of growing character in them and with them.
And Christ is doing the very same with me.
He knows my frame, but he never has these memory-lapse moments of frustration. He remembers that I am dust.
Some days I let shame drive the car. I get what Paul was saying in Romans 7:24 – my frustrations with my own weakness, my own sin, abound.
But God didn’t create me (and you) with a frill around my neck. He knew I wouldn’t need one.
He knows my very frame and remembers how I was made. There is no defense mechanism that will deceive him. My weakness does not frustrate him; it is an invitation he is ready to accept.
If only I have the courage to offer it.
No hiding, covering up, pretending it isn’t there, or offering a showy distraction, but instead casting every weak and earnest care on Him.
It’s the most beautiful exchange. Why would we ever settle for cheap frills?
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. Psalm 103:13
Fear God, Live Brave, friends. There is no better way to live.