Introduction - Boy, are we all different! The world is colored by a vast array of personalities, opinions, and interests. Aren't we glad we are not all the same--dull...
A single, narrow doorway draws excessive attention from the enemy of our souls. He throws his vile body in front of it and spares no expense to keep us away from it. Whatever it takes. Whatever lie works. Doesn't matter as long as he keeps us away from this doorway that threatens his domain. When he succeeds, he gains a devastating weapon that he uses to beat us into submission. This weapon can make the most successful woman a slave to insecurity and render the strongest man a weakling. It's called Shame.
Satan's only access to this weapon is our permission. The shame is ours, all right. We've earned it and we know it. All the pep talk in the world, all the hype and self-esteem boosters cannot break the deep conviction that we deserve these beatings. There is only one way to escape them and it is through that doorway. And Satan knows it.
The door is called Repentance. We don't hear this word much anymore-- another of Satan's ideas. Instead we hear his screams: "Don't walk through that door! God understands. You're a good person. It was a long time ago. It was no big deal. You're over it." We pause at the door, listen to his lies, and move on. What we don't hear is his cackling behind our backs as he picks up the weapon we just handed him. Shame. From now on he can torture us at will, squelch any attempts of ours to embrace love, joy, and peace. Shame convinces us that we will forever remain on God's B List.
But when we kick him aside and charge through that doorway, we find a different welcome than the one Satan told us we'd find. In desperation, we drag sin's filthy carcass to the foot of the cross and we look up. We see our shame piled high on His bloodied shoulders. We listen to the Voice coming from between clenched teeth. "It...is...finished ." And we believe Him. It's paid for. All of it. Repentance means we stop making excuses, stop blaming, and fully own the gravity of our sin... Yes, that sin too. The dark one. The one Satan reminds us of anytime we start to think we have value and purpose.
Because 'it is finished' and because we walked through that doorway, we can stand tall, forgiven, and whole. And we choose to live on this side of the doorway because we know what waits on the other side. He has nothing we want. He can keep that shame and choke on it. It belongs with him. Shame has no power on this side of the door.