Disgrace and humiliation are two of the most complex emotions we humans encounter. The more you dwell on these feelings, the greater the prison of self-hate and hatred for others that poisons your soul. These emotions can drive the human spirit to discover the capacity of its depravity. Such was the case on April 16, 2007, when a mentally disturbed man took the lives of 32 innocent people and, finally, his own. Though the investigation is still ongoing, early guesses about how he could commit such a heinous act are related to his claim that he was humiliated. His tortured soul responded in a way that brought on even greater humiliation for him and for his family.
The day after this atrocity I read Isaiah 25:8, He will swallow up deathforever. The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he willremove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. Iwas reminded of what it feels like to be disgraced. We have each experiencedthe disgrace and humiliation created by sin to differing degrees. No one hasescaped that reality. We have chosen different paths to try to escape the painof humiliation. Some use food, shopping, performance, obsessing over appearance,and many more ways to cover the pain of humiliation. Thankfully and prayerfully,it is only on rare occasion that one would erupt into such violence as was witnessedon that devastating day at Virginia Tech.
I love this message from God in Isaiah 25:8 because it exposes that He knowshow devastating humiliation is to our humanness. He created us for so much morethan we experience on this earth. We were never meant to be disgraced. FollowingSatan brought us to this low position. God alone is the One Who can take awayour disgrace. Don’t turn to your own resources when you face humiliationand disgrace, turn to Him. He will show you how to lift your head up again inthe power of His love.
Jesus was humiliated by others, but it never fazed Him. He never turned againstHimself or others in hate. He could be called the Son of Satan, one who doesn’teven care, and ultimately humiliated on the cross. Humiliation and disgrace nevertook hold of His life because He was so flooded by God’s love. He neverresponded in hatred or blame. He continued to hold His head up even as He wascrucified, naked on the cross. You will discover the power to respond like Jesusin the power of God’s love.
If you too feel humiliated or disgraced, turn down the path of God’s love.Bring these overwhelming emotions to Him and receive His promise that He willtake their sting away from you. There is only one way to rid your life of humiliationand disgrace and that is by receiving God’s love and acceptance. He alonecan transform our disgrace to full acceptance.
About five years ago I had the privilege of speaking on Body Image to young womenat a Campus Church at Virginia Tech. It was a beautiful campus and full of brightand eager students. The Hokie Stone, as they called it, is striking and memorableas most of the buildings are made from it. Pray for the Spirit of God’slove and compassion to transform that campus from chaos and fear to peace andunity. Pray for the spiritual leaders to be empowered by the Holy Spirit to offerpeace.