I was thinking about regret the other day, but in the form of shame. Shame is an ugly monster and not one of us can escape it's claws. We all feel it. We all deal with it. None of us want to be found out.. and when we are, we cover our faces. All shame really is, is a ploy used by someone else to make themselves feel or look better. How many of us have done something that someone else has said they'd never do? I face this quite a bit and it doesn't feel good at all.
I think of the adulterous woman the pharisees brought before Jesus. Of course this isn't the only instance where they tried to make themselves look good, but I like this story for many many reasons.
This woman was caught in an act I'm sure she was trying to hide. We don't know if this was a one time act or if it was something she did regularly; all we know is that she got caught. And her getting caught was made public by a bunch of people who wanted to test Jesus.... that was their agenda. And for that, they publicly shamed a woman for her mistake. I imagine her on her knees on the ground with her face down not wanting to look at anyone. I would feel the same way. If that were me, I probably wouldn't have minded facing the stones that would take my life.
What Jesus did was the most beautiful form of acceptance and forgiveness. He didn't address her first; He addressed her accusers and basically told them they were no better than she was. Her sin was not greater than any of theirs. He defended her and stood by her side. I love this.
Many of us have felt shamed both publicly and privately.... I have many many times. But I have been the accused and the accuser. There have been times when I've questioned relationships because of their mistakes. My mistakes have ended many relationships.
I love the story of redemption. Jesus didn't just display this at the cross.... He didn't hold back on it and wait to show it in some grand display... His life on earth was the beautiful story of redemption and it led Him all the way up to the cross.. which was His purpose.
I want to be able to extend the same grace that was given by Jesus to everyone He went to, healed, forgave, and spent time with. Because shame is an ugly monster... and my life is no more important than anyone else's.
May my life show the beautiful story of redemption.