#write31days, Mistaken Identity

Day 28: The Gnarly Fingers of Shame

weird tree
Like the gnarly roots of this tree around the rock, so too shame can gnarlily wrap around our identity. Table Rock State Park, SC

Mistaken Identity #8: By the stupid choices I have made, I am what I am.

Used.

Overlooked.

Worthless.

Alone.

These were like labels stuck all over her heart, telling everyone who she was.

Rahab was a prostitute. The sequence of events that led to this disheveled, empty bed seemed to spiral out of her control. She hated who she had become.

The men were talking of the Israelites who worshiped the One True God. The God of Abraham who was delivering His people to their promise land. Those people had a future. A hope.

Oh, if only she could be loved, taken care of, and delivered like that from her reality. But there was no way out. It was her fault she ended up here. The gnarly fingers of shame wrapped around her neck cutting off her airways.

Shame takes the truth of stupid choices and twists them into telling you who you are. Shame whispers,

“You’ve done bad things. You are bad. You have no way out. You deserve this abusive life. Hope? Ha!  Who do you think you are?”

The frantic pounding at the door startled her. Two men stood there.  It was very familiar to open her door… to men.  But these men were different.  The lustful look didn’t disgustingly ooze from their eyes.  Instead, they needed her help. A place to hide. They were Israelite spies sent by Joshua to scout out Jericho!

Her heart lept with fear and hope.  As she opened up her home to these men as a refuge, she also opened up her heart to the unconditional, cleansing love of God. And. She. Believed.

In that one right choice, all the years of wrong decisions and shameful existence were washed away. She would no longer be held in her present by her past.  She did have hope!

She now was willing to risk everything to help these men.

  • She lied to the king.
  • She hid the spies on her rooftop.
  • She sent the search party in the opposite direction.
  • She helped the two spies escape out her window.

They left something for her: a scarlet cord to tie around her window. It signified all inside would be saved from destruction. Her old life would crumble with the walls. Her new life would be secured with the scarlet cord. No longer a scarlet letter of shame. But a scarlet cord of hope forever wrapped around her heart.

The rest of the story reads like a romantic novel…

  • She married one of those two spies, Salmon.
  • They had a son named Boaz (Matthew 1:5).
  • Boaz married Ruth (Ruth 4:13).
  • They had a son named Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of David (Ruth 4:17, 21-22)!

This prostitute who had made so many wrong choices in her life became the great-grandmother of King David from which Jesus Christ came (Matthew 1:5-16)!

*Rahab’s story taken from Joshua 2:1-21, Joshua 6:25

Your past doesn’t have to be a blueprint for your future. Those gnarly fingers of shame don’t have the power to hold you down any longer!

How to release the gnarly fingers of shame:

1. Choose the truth: God loves you. You don’t have to perpetuate the sin in your reality by the sin in your past.

2. Determine to make those hard decisions to break the pattern of sin in your life.

God has a great plan for YOU. You have hope! Stand up and go get it!

By the grace of God, I am what I am.

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1 thought on “Day 28: The Gnarly Fingers of Shame

  1. Oh Amy I love this! As our SS studied Ruth the BIGGEST truth that stood out for me was that GOD CHOSE to use broken, repentant sinners in His tapestry of Grace – not perfect people – but people just like us. (Realizing that Boaz’s mother was Rahab was monumental for me in that study.)

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