Shame is a soul-eating emotion. – Carl Jung
The trip from Pune, India, back home to Dallas was a low moment in my life. The day my son Cameron and I were to fly back home, monsoons came and flooded the roads to the city. We took a puddle-jumper instead, arriving at Delhi Airport an hour shy of our scheduled takeoff. I walked up to the check-in counter with Cameron and showed my boarding pass.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Briscoe,” said the gate agent. “You’re late. I can’t let you board.”
“But my plane is right there,” I said, pointing out the window.
“Oh no, no. You have to be here an hour before it departs.”
He wouldn’t budge, so I did what any self-respecting man would do – I let him have it. Then I asked to see the manager and let him have it. Cameron watched me with wide eyes as I went after these guys. In the end, we found a pair of uncomfortable chairs as our plane took off without us. I spent the nine-hour wait between flights justifying my behavior to my son.
“Part of this journey is to teach you the ins and outs of airports.”
“If the guy behind the desk says no, he’s just doing his job. You have to push.”
“I was really thinking about you and how ready you must be to get home.”
I justified and rationalized. You see, I knew that two sets of eyes had watched me go off on those airport employees: Cameron’s eyes and Jesus’ eyes.
While I rationalized my behavior with Cameron, I didn’t want to talk about it with Jesus. I wanted to hide. When I replayed in my mind the tone I’d used with the gate agent and his boss, I was fully ashamed.
It’s a re-enactment of Adam and Even in the garden, right? First they hid from God and then they rationalized. Adam said, “Well, the woman made me do it.” Eve said, “It was the serpent’s fault.” (Genesis 3)
But hiding is the opposite of what Jesus desires. Hebrews 4:16 tells us to “approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace…”
How can we make this our default approach following our sin?
Father, I know You see me in my sin, and I hate that! I’m tempted to hide and even explain away my actions. This is an exhausting cycle that leaves me feeling alone. I accept Your invitation to come. Light the way to Your throne. Amen.
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