This was an amazing Thanksgiving. All of my children were home. We had new friends with us this year. No drama. But the highlight of this year’s Thanksgiving was meeting my brother, Larry, for the first time.
You see, this summer I discovered I had a brother I did not know existed. He is the spitting image of my dad.
When it was confirmed by DNA Larry was our brother, and after hearing the details of his mom and my dad’s relationship, I had mixed emotions.
Shame – my family was not perfect. There were skeletons in our closet.
Disappointment – My dad behaved dishonorably.
Anger- I had been robbed of knowing my brother.
Excitement – to get to know my new brother.
But the shame, the disappointment, the anger subsided when I made peace with a few truths.
1. Shame is the work of the enemy. God never intended us to wear shame and guilt. Besides, I am not my parents. Jesus’ earthly lineage included a prostitute, a foreigner, a power rapist, and a king who sacrificed children to a false god.
2. People will disappoint. No one is perfect. But can we recognize others flaws, and love people in spite of that? Can we extend forgiveness even for major life failures? David was a good king. Yet, he power raped Bathsheba, took a census that caused thousands to die, and did not discipline his son for raping his sister. Nonetheless, those things did not diminish his accomplishments as king. God still referred to him as, “the apple of his eye.”
3. Anger is futile. It seeks to blame. It keeps you stuck in the past. It prevents you from enjoying what God has in store for you. Anger contradicts the promise, “All things work together for our good.”
So I broke the shame by telling others of my story. I forgave my dad. I let go of the anger and I embraced pursuing a relationship with my brother. I’m so grateful that I did. He has truly been a joy to meet him.
Are there areas in your past which causes shame – your family heritage or maybe things you have done? Have you been disappointed by a family member, a pastor, your spouse? Are you angry – do you feel someone stole from you or denied you?
My friends, I encourage you to break the shame, confess your faults one to another that you may be healed. Forgive as you have been forgiven. Release the anger. Then run toward the good things God has for you!
He really will work all things together for your good.
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV