Disgrace isn't just having your dirties outed in public. Disgrace truly is more real than that. Public shame is somewhat fleeting. A person who is disgraced in public can still run and hide and act shamefully in private. It occurred to me this morning that all of those pastors and politician and (insert title) that have been caught in the act of disgrace, that the true shame isn't being caught and made into a spectacle. By the time someone is embroiled in a public spectacle, true disgrace has already occurred.
God saw it.
In the secret.
When no one else (who mattered to you at least) was around. And you thought you could just sneak it by.
God was there in that moment… in those moments… and still we said "No!" to God.
We ignored God in the temptation. We rejected his help to escape. We surrendered to the enemy rather than stand in the power of the Almighty. We sought after our own pleasure, our own easy fix, our own selfish "I-deserve-this" attitude. And we know we have shamed ourselves.
It's as if God invites to walk us to the bathroom and we say "no". We're playing. We're lazy. We're independent. Then, a few moments later, we wet our pants. No one knows yet, except the individual and God. But pretty soon, everyone else will see the wet stain across our crotch. And the private disgrace becomes public.
Disgrace always does.
So today I'm checking my heart a bit more. Today I am ashamed at how far from God's beauty I stand. And I'm ashamed that often I am looking my own way rather than his way.
I say to myself today, "Hear this cry:"
"Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your principles.
Then I will not be disgraced when I compare my life with your
commands. When I learn your righteous laws, I will thank you by living
as I should!" (Psalm 119:5-7 NLT)
Unless I am in the habit of realigning my inner self with God's desires and will, I will allow disgrace to win at certain points throughout each day. I see it as a battle, where I'm just a plain idiot if I roll over and allow the enemy to stomp me. Why would I choose disgrace over the confidence and assurance of faith?! It makes no sense! And yet, so often, that's how I roll.
Eugene Peterson wrote this: "All the water in all the oceans cannot sink a ship unless it gets inside. Nor can all the trouble in the world harm us unless it gets within us." (A Long Obedience in the Same Direction, p.42.) Psalm 119:11 says this: "By obeying your word and following its rules… I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you."
"Lord Jesus, come into my heart like a flash flood. Drown out the sin, the lies, even in the far reaches and locked sheds. Blast away the collected grime. Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word! (Psalm 119:37)"