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what’s so amazing about that video is um I lived most of those black and white videos I was kind of in them growing up and I said to the first service it’s cool but it’s also frightening I think how old I am but uh I’m up taking nourishment this morning and I’m here with you and I’m so delighted to be here with you my wife and I were lead pastors for as a couple for 35 years and this is the last church that we served for 16 years in a pretty tough neighborhood in the toughest city in my opinion in the country detroit michigan but you can see just from that um that gathering of human beings we we sometimes will come together and pray over someone or just pray together as a community at the end of the service and it’s that kind of the love of Jesus lived out in community that we were looking for when we moved to colorado just a few um well about 15 months ago to be with our our daughters uh all three of whom have landed in this area and our six grandkids and sons-in-law and whatnot and we weren’t even really trying to come to south because our oldest daughter andrea some of you know andrea she’s out at the book table with her smallest little baby girl uh or and her husband are already coming here and uh my my other one of my middle daughter and and uh her husband were thinking about coming here and we weren’t trying to be those helicopter parents that are just up in their business all the time and so we weren’t really trying to come here but we walked in to south and felt that I mean who am I to say this to you but this is just I can speak my own truth right we feel Jesus and his love here and so that on top of the fact that we have six grandkids running around and jumping into your arms and get to see my my precious girls who are still my heart um uh carl and my wife carlos sitting right here we’re here also because we feel you and your heart for Jesus so thank you so much for welcoming us so um as I share with you today um you know you don’t know me and I’m often when I when I fly places and speak I will often say this you guys hopefully will get to know us we’ll get to know you but right now most of you don’t know me I’m always thinking why would you listen to somebody you don’t know you don’t in fact with the way pastoring is going today in the country I mean what’s coming out every week about somebody that’s standing up front why would you listen to me I mean alex did vet me so if I’m not who he said I was you can blame him but let me just say this and you can see if you can believe this for me or not this morning I feel you

your hopes your dreams your disappointments your joys your sorrows the reason I feel you is because I am you

so as I share this morning hopefully you won’t take anything that I say coming from some talking head but that you’ll receive me as a brother just sharing out of my own experience with the word and also with life I’m old so I’ve got maybe something behind me to back up what I’ve studied in the scripture hopefully you receive my words as the words of a loving brother so today I’m going to talk about shame that’s our emotion of the morning love’s opposite and what I’ve come to believe is satan’s primary weapon of destruction in our lives first a little bit of my own story and how shame almost destroyed me I grew up in a christian home I trusted christ at the age of five in that christian home but how many of you know that a home can be christian you can believe in the nicene creed but it can still be really emotionally jacked up and so the way I responded to that pain was that I became the super christian youth group kid no partying in high school I was an athlete but I just didn’t go to any parties wasn’t invited because probably I was a downer because of what I wouldn’t do and wouldn’t get involved with I would get up early in the morning study the bible went to a christian university uh played football there became a a small college all-american not I in my view not because I was that great but because I had so much baggage inside

sometimes what doesn’t work well in culture will work well in sports like the anger that I carried um and I would be the guy who would lead the team out into churches and where we talked about Jesus and and young people would think it was cool because we played college ball and whatnot then I went on to seminary and and won an award there for this that and the other and then I became a pastor and that was going pretty well so the point is growing up in this performance-based life in this christian home that was so jacked up with so much baggage I had become fairly successful but I was oh so desperately empty and there were signs along the way I’m not going to give you the whole story this morning and you know we don’t have time but also just we’re new in this community so we want you just to take us to face value when we get to know you we’ll share more but for the first I don’t know how many years of my marriage I was a real bully

very misogynistic I’m ashamed to tell you that especially sisters I hope you’ll realize that God had done some healing in my life and that I so deeply respect daughters of God and my sisters in christ but back then not so much even though I was in love with my wife I did not treat her well um and then you know when we got kids I I can remember this distinctly as being one of those signs of emptiness we used to sit I come home from work we’d sit and watch mr rogers in this big um this big lazy boy chair that eventually we had to throw out not because it wore out but because there was so many skittles and cheerios and what I mean it was absolutely disgusting so and I you know I’m the kind of guy that would live in college dorm furniture forever but even that disgusted me so we had to throw it out but it was a good chair because my girls would sit there with me and drape over me we’d watch mr rogers and I would sit and cry

and I would especially cry when he sang this song it’s you I like it’s not the things you wear it’s not the way you do your hair but it’s who I like the way you are right now the way deep down inside you not the things that hide you not your awards they’re just beside you but it’s you I like every part of you and I would sit and cry but I didn’t know why I mean my my middle daughter who was out there with my oldest daughter she became a therapist I think these were some of the early moments of her therapeutic sensitivity and she would see my tears in fact one time I distinctly remember her touching them to see if they were real and then she I remember her saying to her sister daddy’s crying and then she’d say why are you crying daddy and honestly my brothers and sisters I had no idea but today I do I wanted somebody to sing those words to me I wanted God to sing those words to me

and then finally at the age of 36

pastoring a church some degree of success went north of detroit to give a talk yay on the way home I just the performance thing had empty meat out and I didn’t even think I was suicidal but came within a nat’s eyelash of driving off the freeway into the cement embankment on I-94 just a mile for my three babies and my my precious best friend were sleeping

I was full of bible by the time I graduated from seminary I was telling the early group I had six and a half years of greek two years of hebrew three years of latin I mean this bible was everywhere on me it was all over me and yet I was so empty inside with all the success with all the plaques on the wall I was so empty inside to call brennan manning an author you may have read I was like a travel agent handing out brochures to places I’d never been I could preach a fantastic sermon on love and maybe make you cry about how much God loved you but I had no idea that he loved me and what I’ve come to realize um later on in life is that what was emptying me out was not just the absence of love but the presence of this emotion called shame because where love isn’t shame moves in so that suicide started me on a healing journey out of shame and into the love of God so let’s look at there’s shame that’s the topic let’s look at a definition of shame so we can get into this first of all it’s a painful emotion most most on the at the bottom level of definition it’s a painful emotion generally described as deep humiliation and embarrassment sometimes it’s not all that negative sometimes it’s the feeling that we have when we’re just being human so I was preaching in new york city we were thinking about going from detroit there to a church there called calvary baptist right on 57th street in new york city right down from radio city music hall I mean it was unbelievable I just the most diverse community I’ve ever been in I wept in the morning service was preaching the prodigal son to them in the evening smaller crowd you know they wanted me to preach again and then they were going to take me out for coffee and see if we wanted to come and so the elders came up after the evening service and the chairman of the elders says want to take you out for coffee and pizza but we have one request I said anything he said please zip up your pants

I some of you don’t get it I had preached that entire sermon and by the way it was a sermon on shame I had preached that entire sermon you can’t make this up I preached that entire sermon with my zipper down what did I feel that day I felt like the innocuous version of shame and I can guarantee you I zipped up my pants I checked them several times before I came into this service this morning the second one but the shape that we’re talking about that sucks the life out of us and is there when the love of God isn’t is defined like this it’s an irrational sense of defectiveness not just feeling human you’re not even you’re less than human it’s the pathological belief that one is at the core a deformed being fundamentally unlovable and unworthy of membership in the human community it is the don’t miss this the self regarding the self with the withering unforgiving eye of contempt sandra wilson a christian psychologist wrote a beautiful book that’s been revised on shame and it’s really really good she said shame is when it feels like you’re standing alone on one side of a broken bridge while the whole world stares at you from the other side I think it’s really really important that we differentiate between guilt and shame guilt is about what I do shame is about who I am guilt when we feel guilty it’s appropriate to feel true guilt when we have literally aired when we’ve sinned when we’ve we’ve the word hamartia means to miss the mark when God says this is a life-giving pathway and we choose another pathway well if God loves us he’s going to speak to us through his holy spirit and say that’s not for you daughter hey son you’re off in the far country you need to come home that’s appropriate what the father a good father will never do is say this to you you loser you will never get your act together when you hear that voice it’s never the voice of God the father it’s always the voice of the enemy from hell secondly guilt tells me I made a mistake shame shouts I am a mistake guilt is about activity our actions don’t tell us who we are it’s something we did it’s not who we are but with shame we were born wrong you can correct a mistake what do you do when you’re born defective and there’s nothing that can be done about it it’s a difference between dealing with activity and identity and then thirdly guilt can be forgiven shame requires me to cease to exist many of us know that famous passage out of 1st john if we confess our sins he’s faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness what a wonderful truth that if we screw up today can the word confession uh I think it’s homolog oh it just means to tell God you agree you you screwed up and he says forgiveness through the blood of my son right now like that it’s a wonderful promise what we feel after we’ve confessed sin when we still feel like we want to crawl into a hole that’s opening up in the ground around us and disappear that’s called shame

the truth is shame is absolutely everywhere shame according to the atlantic monthly who did a whole spread on this back in 1992 shame is the number one negative emotion in the west and that seems like quite a few years ago but I can promise you scholars and uh theoreticians will say the same thing today shame in fact dr brene brown you might have listened to this podcast just recently 2012 shame is an unspoken epidemic the secret between behind many forms of broken behavior the um she talks about this I think in one of her books after she gave that ted talk on shame it went viral it put her really on the map she went home and didn’t come out of the house for three days you know why because of shame just because you can control the data intellectually doesn’t mean it still doesn’t impact your heart and then this is from dr uh kurt thompson who’s written several books one amazing book on shame itself he says

shame is everywhere and there’s virtually nothing left untainted by it it is ubiquitous seeping into every nook and cranny of life infecting not just our thoughts but our sensations images feelings and I want we’re going to come back to this phrase in a little bit ultimately even our behavior some of us have been fed this bill of goods that contributes to our shame that the reason that we sin primarily is because we’re a piece of shameful sinful dirt

but what if we don’t sin in a vacuum what if we sin in soil that is tainted by this diabolical emotion that comes from our enemy called shame and then thompson closes by saying it just doesn’t seem to go away well I’ve already said it but let’s dive in a little deeper where does shame come from from hell of course where does it first appear in the scripture genesis chapter 2 verse 25 and alex did such an amazing job of unpacking this text uh talking about our co-creativity with with our father it was really well done son in my in my humble opinion but um this is just a little bit of a different slant let’s look at 225 I want to look at at what what this text says at the apex of creation it says the man and his wife were both naked which was maybe physically naked probably physically naked but representative of an emotional safety that brought them their hearts to the surface but they were absolutely not ashamed there’s no shame 225 the apex of creation all is well God created man or eat adam and eve out of love gave them to each other to love and surrounded them with his love so that adam and eve in 225 don’t miss this they knew nothing about good and evil those words were not a part of their vocabulary they knew nothing about performance failure fear of rejection all of those are shame by products here’s the deal I’ve come to believe that their life there in 225 where they had safety and freedom because they were immersed in love is the intention of God for all of human beings to live for all eternity it was never supposed to be different than genesis 2 25

because to live surrounded by his love is the way he made us

if if we could take a poll this morning when you get up in the morning do you first see in some form the ten commandments on the wall you wake up and you go there’s what I got to get done today I mean you have your own version of the commandments I need to be this good person I need to be that need to be a better need to be and so you wake up and you start feeling shame already because you don’t you’re like the law the law just jumps at you and says get it done

but what if we were intended to get up in the morning and the first thing we see is our heavenly father the way adam and eve woke up every day good morning lord man so good to see you as they embraced and however that worked in the cosmology of his person in theirs we were created to respond not first and foremost to the rules even God’s rules because those are always good we were created to first respond to rules we were created to respond to love in fact I think the quote is there I can’t see yeah I think it is this is what kurt thompson I’m a groupie this is what he said uh as well he says in fact I heard him say this live we all come out of the womb looking for someone looking for us with love and delight

so when that baby um is born and they start doing this and they begin to open their eyes they immediately this is the way their brains are created by God to look for love to tell them who they are if they get love neurobiologists tell us we know this much about the brain if they get love the brain begins to flourish if that baby and they know this as early as the third trimester in the womb they can tell if the baby the baby can tell and they can tell by hooking the baby’s brain up to whatever neurobiologists hook it up to when they hook it up to the child they can tell whether that baby is feeling loved or shamed wanted or unwanted third trimester in the womb and they tell us that what happens is shame if they don’t receive love even in that last trimester the brain begins to shrink it begins to become dysfunctional by the way neurobiologists also tell us the only way that shame can be mitigated is by love it’s in the scriptures we’ll see in a moment that is a neurobiological reality so here’s a couple pictures um this is on the left and some of you remember the day when you didn’t just go into a delivery room you had to go into an operating room and you had to wear all the scrubs and there were bright lights and whatever well this is me with that ridiculous mustache

when I eventually shaved that my six-year-old I came out of the bathroom we were in a hotel my six or seven-year-old I think she was about that age carla she came out and she saw me she wept and she went into the bathroom to look for it and it was obviously it was down the drain I’ll never forget that this is my baby girl andrea who’s sitting at the book table outside her husband is one of our elders and uh I’m looking at her and she’s you can’t see it her eyes were just you know beginning to open they just put that um I forget what they put silver nitrate or something on the eyes and but can I tell you

to this day starting here when I look at that girl I want her to feel me looking at her with love and delight because that’s the way she’s made and I want her to be able to feel that for me and then her next thought I want her to be able to say my dad loves me well but he’s just pointing the way to the God who loves me perfectly as my heavenly father and and here we are 38 years later and here I am um I know I look pretty much the same but that’s still me it’s still me and I’m looking into my baby’s baby’s eyes and look at her you say what’s she thinking she’s not consciously thinking in the way that you and I would you know put words onto our thoughts but I can promise you because she’s been made as gert thompson said in the image of a God who is love she is looking for me to look at her with love and delight when I used to do baby dedications back in our 35 years of pastoring especially the more I understood about the love of God I would take a baby like that and I know some of these parents were freaked out they were like he’s going to drop my kid he’s going to drop my kid he’s going to drop my kid but never dropped one never dropped the lawn I would hold that child up like this and I’d walk around in the audience and I would say what would it be like today if you envisioned for a moment that this is you and I know it’s a stretch but if you could envision your pastor as being the father God the father who loves you and then you could tell they were going somewhere in their minds and then I would just take that baby and I would just

I love you sweetie

I love you so much and you would look out tears running down the faces of folks you know why like kurt thompson said the day that I heard him say this quote he said today I’m still looking for that very same thing folks who will look at me with love and delight

if I could I would just leave this picture up for the rest of the time so instead of looking at quotes and notes I would just want you to take in what this represents it represents my brothers and sisters what we’re all made to long for

and the enemy knows that when we get this we live powerfully we live freely into the specific gifting and the niche that God has given us on this planet there’s no two of you anywhere in time and space in history or on this planet right now you have your own unique niche when we when we’re full of shame we’re shut down when we receive love we live free we take God’s redemptive love into the broken world who by the way isn’t looking for our doctrinal statement they are looking for someone looking for them with love and delight I’m convinced that this is the reason that Jesus at the end of his almost at the end of his speech to his disciples before he left the planet when he was saying I’m leaving you’re staying this is what I want you to be about this is what he comes up with he says as the father has loved me this is the way I’ve loved you don’t forget this you’ve got to live here make your home in abide in my love I’m convinced he was simply Jesus the logos of God was simply repeating genesis 2 25. he was saying this is where we’ve always been intended to live I’ve come to bring us back home to the love of the father which will set us free so as you know satan’s not having any of that and so again not to pull up the entire text because alex did that so well last week what satan basically says in genesis 3 he shows up in the form of a serpent he says God’s love is not enough my brothers and sisters it’s the same lie he tells today it’s not enough I I spoke to a a ton of men 120 men the other night about this love a different kind of a talk and at the end one of the brothers came up and he said but tell me more about discipline and I said discipline is important a little but I said when david have you I said my I said brother don’t take me judgmentally but have you read the psalms lately david said has the deer pants for the water so my soul longs after you I said does that sound like discipline to you or does it sound like a son who knows that he’s got a father who loves him and and his life is a desert he literally feels the effect of death unless he gets with that God and so

where religion takes us because satan uses religion even christianity is toward a shame-based disciplined lifestyle which will take us only so far and will never give us freedom away from the love that God says if you live here if you will abide in my love then it will be enough and in fact Jesus goes on to say in that same passage if you love me because I love you you will obey my commandments nothing about discipline lots about being saturated in his love so God says to adam and eve it’s not enough um you have to be about the tree of knowledge of good and evil which bruce walkey says in his incredible commentary on genesis he says it was an invitation into spiritual autonomy God’s good but just take a step yeah you need his love but it’s not enough it’s not holy enough take a step toward the spiritual autonomy of trying to figure out the knowledge of good and evil get involved with the rules figure it out

and so shame is born and the death that God predicted if you eat of the tree you will surely die manifest itself in a relational way and here it is adam and eve made themselves coverings they began to hide naked and not ashamed to hiding that’s the product of shame they began to hide from themselves from one another and from God in fact in this text the word hyder coverage used at least four times uh to show the impact of shame they hid themselves from the presence of the lord it hurt the relationship of God how many of us when we pray really don’t tell him everything I’m just saying I’m not judging I’m you remember I’m you it’s the product of shame how do we come close if we don’t say here I am lord he’s right there he’s not going anywhere it we feel the intimacy when we say here I am and he meets us with his love where are you adam he says God knew where adam was I think he wanted to know if adam knew where he was adam and started to run and divide from himself the woman you gave me she gave me of the tree naked and not ashamed to it’s her fault the serpent deceived me eve says the devil made me do it it divorces us from taking any true responsibility for our journey and then of course God had said you will surely die by genesis 4 somebody was dead cain rose up against his brother abel and killed him that’s the impact of shame it divides us relationally relational death relational death

don’t have time to get in this much but before we kind of begin to land the plane um I’ve given you the history and the theology a little bit of genesis where shame enters you know where shame enters us most prolifically in our personal lives through shame based family systems

I mean what if mom and dad don’t know the love of God

they’re made to know it but what if they grew up in shame so we give listen we give away what we’ve received if we’ve received 20 40 of love not that you can ever categorize that or percentage percentage it but if we’ve received 40 percent we’re giving for the rest of it is shame

and the most well-meaning parents will pass on that I was one of those well-meaning parents one time while I was trying to heal from shame we I remember we did a series on how to parent well and we didn’t talk on shane back in our church to service church back in detroit and I asked my oldest daughters andrea lane if they do a little role play with me my oldest daughter I mean she was all about it and she was like like a little actress and so I stood up there and played I wanted people to feel this and so I played the big strong tall shaming father blah blah blah I mean and I really put put it on and andrew was like oh daddy that isn’t the way to parent me or something like that in other words she just really played the role and everybody clapped and everybody got it you know parents went home and started to evaluate my parents not of love or shame second service my little leanne the therapist the sensitive one the one that would you know touch my tears in my cheek she got up there and I played the big strong shaming dad and she was about this tall and she stood there as I shamed her in a play act and she started to weep she said daddy I don’t want to do this anymore in front of 400 people and of course what I did is I got on my knees and I went like this and took her in my arms remember this sweetie and she said carla said on the front row and I just gave her two to my wife and I don’t know what happened after that quite frankly but this I can tell you in that moment a role play became a reenactment

my little girl had begun to internalize the shame of this shame-based father who loved her deeply but if what we have is shame that’s what we give I was saying the first service we’re going to do a retreat sometime and just unpack more of this as it relates to parents I think it would be really life-giving and healing and then if it’s not the family system it’s culture magazines television shows the neighbors next door it’s the way culture is pushes at us this feeling of you’ll never measure up you’ll never be good enough you’ll never make it you’re not like the rest of us we’re over here on this side of the bridge you stand alone on the other side I remember being a seventh grader we ought to be able to skip junior high all together raise your hand if you agree with that skip it skip it I might run for the school board and see if we can get that done I mean that’s it just it’s you’re so confused at that age I was seventh grade shame-based home all kinds of stuff going on along with a lot of Jesus talk and God bless my parents I don’t mean to disrespect them they did the best they could with what they had but they grew up in that mess themselves and so my mom we didn’t have much money until my dad got a little bit more successful and so she had to order my pants out of a jc penny catalog and how many of you know that back in the day the catalogs they look like this color and it turned out to be this color so she ordered these green pants and I’m telling you when I put them on you could not find this color anywhere in nature I’m telling you it it might have been on a color wheel somewhere but you you look in the closet you couldn’t find a shirt to go with these pants so I put on something and I went to school dutifully sat in the middle of my health class and the big tall former college basketball player six foot seven mr maupin that everybody just worshipped him and loved him and I was an aspiring athlete I wanted him to like me he sat down looked around the room saw me and shouted nice outfit butcher

fair enough I mean you could put it on a sitcom about you know whatever but you know what I remember that day it’s almost like it was like going to the county fair looking at one of those mirrors where the faces are all like this you know and they’re all warped I remember I’m 60 almost I would have been 13. and as I tell you that story and I and I look at you and you’re envisioning me in those green pants I’m having a visceral reaction inside my heart of all those kids turning at me and laughing

can you imagine why teen suicide is going like this these kids are just kids and they’re trying to deal with the shame of shame-based parents they’re trying to deal with the shame that pushes at them from culture many of them don’t know that there’s a God who loves him with all of his heart

so again as we turn the corner here let’s get really personal about this I’m going to ask you to have some courage as we just kind of look at a few things in the way it might have impacted us first um this is again kurt thompson shame is used to dismantle us as individuals

in communities and destroy all of God’s creation it is the primary tool that evil leverages out of which emerges anything that we would call sin isn’t it interesting we talked about shame in genesis 2. who what what’s the name assigned to the enemy the serpent in revelation 12. the accuser of the brothers and sisters accusing them day and night and then this is from my second book not because I just like quoting my books but I think it’s a good quote to back up what dr thompson says um and I referenced this earlier I said we’re going to come back to this we don’t sin in a vacuum

we don’t just wake up in the morning going gosh sin I think I’m all about it if we’re in our right minds we don’t that’s not us we choose sin under the influence of a deadly spiritual toxin called shame God loves us and created us to respond most naturally to his love and while we can foolishly choose to disobey despite his love his love never ever gives us reason to disobey only shame beckons us toward the darkness I’m not giving us a pass to sin to go it was the shame it was the serpent like even said he said I’m giving us some space to stop shaming ourselves about our sin so we can begin to heal with the love of christ so that we want to obey the one who loves us

I used to think all about the rules that was my life Jesus died to give us more rules that’s kind of how I interpret it as a kid today this is not me being spiritual if you know me I am I’m the polar opposite of that I’m just telling you because I’m old and I’ve done a little healing work I never think about the rules but every moment of every day I think about the one who calls me his beloved son and I can still choose to ignore that love and sometimes I do ridiculously so but more often than not these days I’m like thanks abba and I live out of that love never once thinking about anybody’s version of the rules

so shame destroys relationships with ourselves with others and with God check out a few of these we don’t have a lot of time um maybe someday if alex and the staff give me permission we can go deeper in some kind of a bible study about this um since I we this is our church this is uh this is our home and we want to serve we want to use our gifts and the way that God can use us what if this is one of the signs that you might be wrestling today when we don’t know who we are or secretly hate who we are we’re wrestling with shame because we don’t quite know the love of God this is hard to admit by the way you walk into a room you don’t know where to go and so you go to a crowd of somebody’s and then you find yourself start to morph into what the crowd is instead of just being yourself I’m sure you’ve done that I’ve done that could it be because we don’t really know who we are and if I ask you today who you are you might give me a version of what your mama thought you were supposed to be or what your last church tried to force you to be but who are we

and on steroids that lack of identity turns into self-hatred and you might say can a real christian hate themselves I did then I didn’t want it to die I hated myself with all the awards on the wall I hated myself it’s not easy to admit is it can you imagine coming in from the south parking lot all those smiling faces and you you said to your friend bill hey bill how you doing he was good he looks back at you he says hey kev how you doing I’m doing pretty good I hate myself but otherwise I’m fine

where is the space I can here’s what I can tell you because I’m old again and I I know people I am you remember there are some self-haters in here today and

I just want to tell you God loves you you have a father who loves you and that self-hatred that comes from shame maybe it’s the voice of your absent father I don’t know how you were hurt and how you were presently being hurt this I can tell you God loves you and he wants to heal that broken wounded place so you don’t have to go around the rest of your life thinking that you’re not wanted and you don’t even want yourself you can heal through the love of Jesus christ you can begin to get free

how about tormented by voices from childhood

how would my daughter if all I was was you need to and stop and will you ever amount to anything how would she ever be able to hear the voice of her abba saying you are my beloved daughter and whom I am well pleased

part of our healing is owning those voices and knowing that the love of Jesus can heal them what if we’re constantly looking for approval could that be a sign

it’s good to be encouraged but I can remember early on in my journey from from shame to love after I would preach I I mean my leaves are rolled up now but I literally if they weren’t I’d roll them up and I wouldn’t do this physically obviously it’d be obnoxious but I would come down and I’m telling do you think I was looking just to minister to the saints no I was like tell me something man shoot it up man I mean I’ve seen heroin addicts shoot up I wanted them to shoot me with something from out here that would make me feel for a minute that I was okay because after I got done unveiling and feeling the wounds of life that I hadn’t healed from yet I came down I just wanted to tell me I was okay when we want affection and control some of us live with that in our marriages we want our spouse to be something their affirmation of you brother or sister can never heal the wound their love can create space for that healing but at some point we’ve got to own this and begin to hear the voice of the father calling us his beloved sons and daughters how about when we’re constantly critical of others that’s usually motivated by an internal critic I can tell to this day

and carla can tell as well when I get critical of her and I’m not just saying when you share with your spouse could you do that and not this would that be okay that’s a need I have that’s fair but when you have that critical thing going you’re just picking that’s never about her that’s always about that internal critic of shame inside my heart another sign that we’re struggling what about having difficulty in relationships could it be for for about the first decade of our marriage carla could tell I was trying to you know get something from her and I remember one day her saying to me what do you want from me I didn’t know now I know I wanted to fill up the hole in my heart that only the love of God and Jesus christ could feel I wanted her love to push back the darkness she’s just a person her love has can be the icing in my journey as a human being it can never be the cake no friend can take the place with their love of the love of the father for you and for me how about never at peace constantly driven and I know sometimes we make all kinds of excuses for just being the energizer buddy we’re all always going and I know we live busy lives and all of that is fair and good I’m not judging anybody here this morning but could it be that sometimes we keep on going because if we stop the voices of shame begin to rise up in our spirit and if we pause we’ll have to listen to what that voice is saying and realize that we need to do some healing work how about addictive tendencies addictions of any kind whether they’re like off the streets of detroit um where we saw so much you know crack and heroin and alcohol I could tell you so many stories the first book is full of stories of folk who met the love of God on that porch that were totally addicted but I mean some of the other kinds of addictions you know when you’re like a little league game and some dad’s going yeah that wasn’t a strike that that brother’s addicted man do you think he’s I mean I’m not judging that brother but I just know people do you think he’s there because he just is trying to give his son a good experience

he the shame is pouring out he’s addicted to his son’s performance and that that umpire just messed it up so even some of those you know you could be addicted to church it’s where you get all your feels that make you not have to deal with the pain inside addictive tendencies always mask longing for the love to drive back to shame then of course struggling to find intimacy with God and christianity is I gotta I got an email of last year when I was writing my second book a guy said a guy was saying sign up you know give me a hundred bucks and I’ll share with you 20 prayer habits that will make you successful in your prayer life and that that thing was dripping with shame and I thought wait I’ve got a God who loves me that I want to talk to all day long and you’re trying to give me a habit and if I don’t live into the habit I feel like what and so delete God bless him or her whoever it was but we feel so much shame when we don’t get up in the morning and read this book I know some of us do I was that guy and and and caroline my youngest daughter who’s doing her master’s right now over at uc colorado or uc boulder she said to me one time why would I want to read this bible dad when I open it up what I what I feel is what I’m not doing that I’m supposed to be doing or what I’m doing that I’m not supposed to be doing

when shame is at the core of our relationship with God with his word with prayer who would want it’s not about you being more disciplined take that off your shoulders in my opinion it has much to do with healing from shame and learning to receive the voice of the father that says I love you and as we begin to know that love we will be running to this book not as a rule book for our christianity but as a handbook of love for how much he loves us in christ every moment every day of our lives so finally

how do we heal

and I think first of all

and I don’t know if I’ve done a very good job of communicating this but let me see if I can share this paradigm we on a daily basis by moment we’ll either choose to live may be somewhat in touch with the love of God like adam and eve but really about the tree of knowledge of good and evil what are the rules today how can I try harder how can I get with them how can I buckle down how can I listen to six more sermon series how can I buy that new translation of the bible that’s sure to change my spiritual journey all’s gonna be well because I got the latest transition off of amazon I need you we either live there and it sucks the life out of us made me want to die or we say that is bondage that is death and I’ve got a God who says through his son make your home and my love and my love will set you free

now for the next hour I’d like to talk to you but no I’m just he’s just easy I know I’m long this could be my last appearance at south you never know um I really you would not know how much I whittled this talk down but it’s still where it I’m it is what it is um the reason we know we can heal there’s lots of reasons but this is one of them look at this text out of the book of hebrews

forget christianity for a minute forget it forget it I don’t even use the word anymore people say what are you they see me studying the bible um I follow Jesus of nazareth and I love him you say christianity and it will take them places that you don’t want them to go so let’s stop looking at christianity for a moment looking unto Jesus

the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him well there’s so much there but he endured the cross despising the shame the the word despised the greek word could either mean

looking at shame with contempt and saying you’re done or it could mean conversely maybe both of these are impacted here it could mean he when shame tried to derail Jesus from going to the cross he said you are nothing to me I’m the son of God and I love my I love the folks I’m dying for you are nothing to me but he despised the shame this is a reference to genesis 3 I promise can you imagine satan entered the world with shame and the savior the deliverer is conquering shame at the cross that forgives us for all time and space and eternity he despised the shame and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God Jesus whooped shame at the cross with his love that’s why we can defeat shame I don’t think sometimes we think of and I didn’t for years and years think of shame the cross being a shame bearing instrument it was just like it hurts if you if you’ve ever seen the pictures I mean it’s torture but for the romans it wasn’t just torture it was about putting that crucified victim crucifixion victim near a road like if this is golgotha there would be a road here he wouldn’t be crucified they wouldn’t be crucified way back here because then people would have to look from afar it would be right here so people could see the pain and say that’s what happens when you defy rome but it wasn’t just the torture it was the nakedness

I don’t want to offend any of our sensibilities and I understand why the medieval painters the masters painted Jesus with a loincloth but the romans never crucified anyone with a loincloth

the son of God bled naked on a roman cross he told shame to go back to hell where it came from because he loved us david crowder has that song it’s a long road of gog of a hill but there ain’t no stopping love

and then the jewish community they wagged their heads the old king james says they looked at him and said yeah you called yourself the messiah because they knew that anybody who got crucified remember in galatians anyone who hangs on a tree is cursed so roman shame jewish shame and then the shame of bearing the sins of the world my God my God even you have left me

this is what empty wright says he said love took Jesus to the cross despising that shame all the way along love kept Jesus on the cross when shame tried to rip him down

and love when Jesus said it is finished love crushed shame embedded in the powers of darkness so that today shame has no power except the power that we give it

and so not trying to be cur not trying to be simplistic I hate simple answers you know here’s the list read this list change your life no no no but try this on for size if we’re looking for a healing pathway vulnerability the vulnerability that our savior led us with

met by his love pushes back shame

and the reason vulnerability is so important is because

like if I’m saying to my my brother alex that I love him and by the way I love you I really do I’ve grown to love you in the few short months we’ve been together if I say to him I love you alex and alex knows yeah but kevin doesn’t know me because I’ve kept my mask on that he will intuitively know that I’m not loving him I’m loving a caricature of him so for love to have its full power we’ve got to take off our mask which is why paul says in ephesians 4 stop lying to one another

because we’re members of one another so when alex takes off his mask and he says this is what I didn’t want you to know kev but this is part of what’s real and the love of God through me hits him he begins to heal

so here’s the question are we so done with shame that we’re ready to gulp get vulnerable a sister asked me this morning where do I start I said why not start with why not start with your heavenly father

paul says God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear into bondage again but he’s given us the holy spirit of adoption it causes our hearts to cry out abba father when I come home from church my little girl andrea would run to the window and cry out daddy’s home daddy’s home that’s romans 8 15. paul is saying yes he’s the creator he is the sovereign he is the lord he’s the king but he’s inviting you to know him as a son or a daughter as your abba so that when you think about him you can’t help but cry out to him sometimes in joy sometimes in great sorrow

and then he meets you there because he’s your abba he’s your father he loves you I said this to your precious sister what would it be like if today as you just went out the door is you just began to take off your mask with God that you might have thought he’s going to be so mad if he knows by the way he already knows

I often think of parents of two-year-olds the two-year-olds are out there they don’t think you ever watch a two-year-old they’re out there they don’t think their parent sees them and they’re going

the parent knows but when that two-year-old gets in trouble what does the parent say come to me sweetie and I can help you they already knew but they wanted the the child to turn there’s something magical that happens when we turn toward the one we know who loves us and we we get honest and then healing occurs what if we started by just getting maybe more vulnerable than we’ve ever been with the God who says I’m your father I’m your abba father that term that if you’re on the streets of jerusalem today you’ll hear little kids running around going abba abba he is that to you and to me when my girls were little they would get in pain run up climb up into my chest they would sob out their mess their pain their darkness and then at about 10 minutes without so much as a thank you they’d push me away and go play what happened they gave me their ashes and I gave them my beauty they gave me their fear and I gave them my courage they gave me their shame and I gave them my love and sometimes without saying a word they felt the healing to the point that they could go live what about starting with him

but then finally and this really is finally usually when I’m preaching I’m going along I’ll say finally about six times but this is the real I do have one story after this but this is finally before the final story shame on me right um can you imagine this verse written by peter who was there when Jesus said abide in my love that’s it peter who in shame denied christ and came back and Jesus said do you love me are we doing because that’s it it’s that relationship you’re good he says to the early church in asia minor above all things

and you know what above all things means in greek it means above all things it’s very very sophisticated have fervent love for one another for that love will cover a multitude of sins I think what it’s saying is that the body of christ is intended to be the healing community where out there we don’t feel very safe so we we might be more judicious about opening up and saying this is who I really am depending on the scenario what love calls for in here where christ dwells with his people the one whose love took him to the cross kept him on the cross crushed the powers on the cross for us here we can come in and take our masks off and so when our mess hits the love that is received in the body of christ we begin to heal

I want to tell you this final story

I met in my second church in detroit we pastored two churches in detroit the last one deep in the hood the other one in on the edge of detroit and

one sunday morning I was a young pastor I had just come off of that near suicide attempt I had just read the ragamuffin gospel by brennan manning just begun to experience the love of God in a new way so I was a real baby in terms of the love of Jesus but she said well you go see my ex-husband in in the macomb county jail he was waiting to get sentenced to prison

and I said what’s he in for and she goes sexual assault

and as dan told me his story later this is one of the most broken shame-based human beings that I’ve ever met his dad came back from vietnam a wreck addicted as many of our good brothers and sisters who fought there came back and the war what they saw I mean he was just a mess

and so he used to just beat dan this little kid when he was a little boy the shame was just downloaded his daddy’s shame God love him was just downloaded into him so by the age of eight he was breaking and entering in the neighborhood and then he started using drugs he finally got the heroin and he told me about several times when he woke up with a needle in his arm and he was blue he almost died

and then he started acting out toward women in abusive and abusive ways I can’t even I wouldn’t say it makes companies so much of what I knew about his brokenness in that area

so that’s the guy I met that day when I when I went out with my bible had no I I skipped the class in seminary about going to visit folks in prison so I had no idea what I was doing but I knew I had a contact visit sat down they brought den in he was he was all you know musk just a big guy shaved head and he looked meaner than a snake man wounded he came in he was all manacled so he shuffled over to the table sat down put his arms there looked at me and if looks could have killed I didn’t know what to do so I opened up the bible started reading something out of the gospel of john about the love of Jesus and I could tell after about three minutes he wasn’t having any of it

so I closed the bible and I’m not kidding you I did not know what to do but I can tell you what happened the tears started as I was looking down because I didn’t know what to do the tears started coming down in my out of my eyes remember I was a rookie with the love of God but I’m convinced I am convinced that those were the tears of christ and his love being being cried through me for this broken son it’s what happens when you begin to experience that love you can’t not I wasn’t trying I didn’t have a plan I didn’t press my tear ducts it just happened

I pushed my bible aside I got up went around the table dan stood up he knew the visit was over and so did I the guard was standing there and I took spontaneously I took dan in my arms

and I kissed him if you know anything about prison ministry you know you’re not you’re not supposed to be kissing the inmates

I kissed him on his cheek had him like this lean over this way and then I whispered not just wish but I whispered in his ear

I look back today even alex on my walk but that’s what came out of me I think it was the love of God that came up I think Jesus was whispering in his ear I said I love you man and I’m with you all the way home

and then I left I went out in the parking lot and I literally I beat the living tire out of myself what did I do why didn’t I just say see you in court I’ll send you a card

shame dan went back into his cubicle and he told me this later he said to himself what just happened to me don’t miss this whatever that was I’ve got to have more inside that broken man was a heart created by the God of love that was looking for someone looking for him with love and delight and when his pain met the love of Jesus and broken down me he began his healing journey on the spot that day the powers of darkness could not withstand the power of the love of christ that love followed him through the next eight years of prison he didn’t trust christ for eight years but he knew he’d tell stories God’s after me God’s after me man finally a little southern baptist preacher came into the prison preached a sermon he trusted christ did the last eight years of his sentence he did ended up doing 18 years without one major ticket with this which is a miracle came out and when he was released from confinement after he got out of prison he came to our church and that first sunday or second sunday we had him serve communion

and here’s shame-based broken dan schoenfeld with the body and the blood representing the love of the cross healing from that shame knowing that love to the point that he gave me one of his his bibles from prison marked up everywhere favorite passage isaiah 53 which was triple marked up and at the top of that great passage which describes the love of Jesus for us on the cross he had written in bold letters and outlined I love you Jesus and he stood