Ted Haggard: My Thoughts on Shame
When others fall, do you want to pile on the shame or encourage resurrection in them?
I appreciate the way the Blood of Christ and God’s Spirit free us from shame.
No doubt, I, for one, am grateful for the forgiveness of sin and the opportunity to have a clear conscience.
I know a lot about shame. I spent four years dominated by shame.
Then I realized that Christ was not shocked at my sins, that he had forgiven me for them, and that he had positive plans for my future. Key people in my life decided to forgive me.
So for me to allow shame to lord over my life was a denial of my faith and a repudiation of those who had confidence in Christ’s resurrection power in me.
What followed that realization was an interesting process to watch. There were those who had publicly fueled and promoted my demise, actually wanting shame to control me, who did all they could to promote shame in my life. Others, though, promoted resurrection in me and did what they could to encourage healing and restoration in my life.
It seemed to me as though some proved to be enemies of the Gospel’s work in me, and others proved to be friends and true believers of the Gospel’s power to work in me.
This dynamic altered the way I respond to someone else’s sin: I want always to be the guy who encourages resurrection in others.
As I went through this process of deciding who would have a determining voice in my life, I decided that Jesus’ life was more powerful than my shame, and that those who said what Christ says should have influence over me, not those who wanted only to accuse and take advantage of me.
It was a glorious process as the influence of Christ and authentic believers set me free to pursue God’s plan for my life.
The New Testament talks about the dynamic shame plays in all of our lives.