Post details: Baking Soda & Acidic Shame


Permalink 07:57:44 am, Step(s): 08 Make a list..., 460 words   English (US)

Baking Soda & Acidic Shame

It seems to me that there are at least two ways to deal with guilt and shame. The most common method seems to be to just stuff it -- pretend that it never happened. This doesn't seem to work to well, because in our heart of hearts, we know that it did happen, and it never really goes away. There seems to be some evidence that a result of stuffing it is lot like acid, eroding us from the inside out -- emotionally and sometimes even physically. Some claim that there are a number of debilitating diseases largely caused by trying to forget and to conceal the garbage in our lives.

Fortunately, there is a better way. We know that if we confess our sins to God, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:9). But, we also have another shame-reducing tool, called "amends". As we become willing to make amends to those whom we have harmed, we begin to expel more of that acidic shame from our emotional and physical being.

Have you ever used baking soda and water to clean up battery acid? If so, you've seen the rather violent reaction between those two chemicals. And, you've seen the results -- cleaned battery terminals. It is much the same as we become willing to make amends. It can be a violently painful experience, but the result is the neutralization of the acidic shame that we had been harboring. Of course this does not change our history. The deed was still done, but now it becomes easier to forgive ourselves and not let the past control our present and future.

Once I have confessed my sin to God and have done what I can to make amends with those I've harmed, I have no reason to carry guilt and shame any longer. By Jesus' death on that old rugged cross, the penalty was paid for my sin. By that amazing gift He cleanses me of guilt. Then by following Christ's direction in Matthew 5:23,24, I am also cleansed of shame.

If, after that, I still feel shamed, I know that an enemy is tempting me to hold that shame and I must surrender that feeling to God. He is faithful and just to deliver me from even that :-).

"So, if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God" (Matthew 5:23,24). There are some, however, that will not reconcile with you. In that case, "do all that you can to live in peace with everyone" (Romans 12:18).

"Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all." (Step 8)

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