Shame and the Cross—Dan Allender at Mars Hill
“We as individuals and a culture have learned that shame is too dangerous to get near. It evokes too much when we hear someone even beginning to talk about it.”
On March 15, Dan visited Mars Hill Bible Church in Michigan to share about the ubiquitous, insidious presence of shame in our lives and the power of wrestling with the shame in our stories. Mars Hill is in the middle of a series on the atonement, so Dan talked about the role of shame in the work of the cross—which we cannot begin to engage without also engaging the shame in our own lives.
“The bottom line is that the atonement addresses shame in your life. But to get there, you’ve got to be willing to narrate your life. You’ve got to be willing to hear and tell your own stories of shame.”
You’ve got to be willing to hear and tell your own stories of shame.”
To illustrate this, Dan shares an entertaining story about Colorado snow, windshield wiper fluid, and his response to a moment of shame in his own life. He confronts our tendencies to hide and blame in the presence of shame, saying that these reactions counter the work of atonement that was enacted at the cross.
“Jesus covers us through the cross and his blood, but never without exposing the depths of what our hearts are truly like. […] We are covered, but only because Jesus has the courage and integrity to name every wound you have ever suffered and every wound you have ever caused.”
Jesus has the courage and integrity to name every wound you have ever suffered.”
Watch the full video of Dan’s talk here. This is a vital message, one that gets to the heart of so much of our work here at The Allender Center. By confronting shame in our lives and the lives of people around us, we are joining the ongoing works of creation, atonement, and restoration.
“Jesus stands directly against my accusers, even when the accuser is me against myself. Jesus stands against that accuser and says, ‘Everything you are saying, you are saying first against me.’ Let Jesus cover your shame. All the ways you escape it will never work.”