From: David Kabanje
Date: January 19
Subject: GMU: Crippling Shame

Shame + Love

Beautiful People,

Yesterday we explored the notion that God's love expands our hearts and makes provisions to show kindness to the "Sauls" of our lives. Today, we explore how God's love makes room at the table and radically changes our identities! If you are tuning in to our GMU series this week, we are following the story of David and Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel 9:1-13. Here is a quick recap. As the new king of Israel, David resolved to show God's kindness to Saul's relatives! One relative was found, Mephibosheth, Jonathan's son. Before we jump into the story, it's important to know the definition and meaning of Mephibosheth. His name means "from the mouth of shame." At a young age, Mephibosheth became crippled due to an accident. This feeling of shame and uselessness must have dominated his mind and heart. Remember, he was the son of Jonathan; he was next in line for the thrown; however, life left him lame, and shame crippled his spirit. How often do we allow the circumstances of life to cripple our minds and hearts? How often do we allow our circumstances to dictate our identities and worth?

Mephibosheth's identity was constructed by his circumstances and a sense of shame. Look at his response to David; "What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?" David desired to bless Mephibosheth with loving-kindness; however, instead of looking to the king and his offer, he looked at his inadequacies. There is a lesson here. Jesus, our King, is in the business of returning to us what the Devil has taken from us. Jesus is in the business of inviting you and me to the table of His kingdom. Jesus is in the business of showing His Father's loving-kindness; however, we are stuck in overanalyzing our inadequacies to see that God has drawn near to our broken and crippled spirits. The only question left for today is why are you unwilling to receive God's loving-kindness into your life? I can answer that on a personal level. Inwardly, I believe that God has seen too much of my sins to invite me and keep me at His table of favor and love. But, like Mephibosheth, the King invites us to the table to feast and commune with Him regardless of how we view ourselves. There is room at the table of God for you! More importantly, when you accept the invitation, you are no longer seen as the shameful cripple—you are seen as a son and daughter of God. There is room at the table for you, but don't just leave it there. Expand the invitation to your family, friends, and community because our God is in the business of changing lives.

P.S. God's love is the perfect antidote to crippling shame. 

Have a great day!