Tell me if you’ve been here.
I’m standing at the check-out line, ready to pay. I swipe my card. My card is declined.
Know that embarrassment? Thankfully, it’s been a while for me. I don’t plan on feeling it again.
I was reminded of these experiences while prepping to teach Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. I believe in being debt-free, but I’m not going to hang that burden on your neck.
I mention my story because of the sense of frustration, weight and entanglement I had when we were in debt. For us it wasn’t just personal debt; it was also business debt. I hated it, and it was more than just the enslavement I felt toward my bank, creditors and credit card.
It was my shame.
You know what I mean, and it may have nothing to do with money.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery in Egypt.” So that place has been called Gilgal to this day. -Joshua 5:9
Anytime I am enslaved to something – addiction, debt, relationship, position, status, etc – it brings shame. In my case, I felt shame each time I opened a bill, talked to a creditor, over-drafted my bank account or my credit card was declined.
I wonder if the freedom God promises us is about shame as much as it is about enslavement.
The above verse refers to Joshua finally entering the Promised Land. The Hebrews wandered the desert 40 years and were enslaved in Egypt the 400 years before that. God commands Joshua to call their first encampment, Gilgal – “rolling”.
God was doing something so much bigger than giving the people a new home. He was rolling away the shame engrained in them. That’s freedom.
Freedom from shame doesn’t come quickly either. It took the Israelites over 40 years to begin to find it. It took me months to sense it. But it came.
You can be free. Not just from the entanglement…free from shame.
How to live shame-free.
Living shame-free feels great, so here’s how.
- Stop relying on the thing you’re enslaved to.
That’s it. Seriously. Okay, so there are probably some other steps in there, but this is the basis behind anything else.
In the case of the Israelites, it’s Egypt. The very thing that enslaved them, they kept longing for. They couldn’t see that there might be something better for them. For me it was my debt. The hardest thing for me to do was cut up my last credit card. I hated getting the bill every month, but I loved the sense of security.
So do it. Live shame-free. Determine to stop looking to the thing enslaving you. Turn to the One who longs to see you free. Then wait, because you’ll soon feel it.
Nothing. The shame will be gone.