Shame is a silent, but deadly disease that pollutes the lifeblood of many Christian’s faith. Although it is a buzzword in songs and poems, it is not often described or dealt with and therefore continues to torment many lives. The symptoms are experienced, but the source of the discomfort, confusion, and hindered life is often ignored. In an effort to reveal the healing that exists through Jesus Christ, I am going to highlight what shame does, where it comes from, and what the Bible says about it. However, in the little Bible byte I am not able to shed as much light as is necessary. So, what does shame do? What are the tangible ways that it affects lives? Here is a short, but definitely not comprehensive list.
Shame puts you in a bondage of self-perception. Although you want to believe all of the wonderful things that the Bible says about you, you can't.
There are many reasons we feel trapped with shame, but the number one reason is the people around us. In our minds, in some way, people are pointing a finger at us. Either verbally, with eye contact, body language or just the fact that society shakes its wicked finger in your direction. It's true, feelings are real bars of our shame prison.
You move to a different place, change your friends, or even change the way you look. Yet, no matter where you go there you are, you always take yourself with you. You may look different to the rest of the world but you see the same thing in the mirror. Your perception of yourself has not changed
The good news is that God is not keeping anything from you. In fact, it is just the opposite. Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Abundant life doesn't’t sound like a downer! But what about this shame and guilt? When is God going to take this from me and give me this Abundant life? God is NOT a taker. He is a giver. As long as we hold on to it and claim it as ours, we will be kept in this bondage. I implore you to keep studying God's word to find the Truth for the Truth will set you free.Shame makes you settle for less than you deserve God wants to lead you into wonderful relationships and abundant blessings, but you make poor decisions and live in regret.
Because of decisions in the past, you feel you do not deserve good things, a better life, a future. Because of this thinking we do not reach out to claim the blessings God wants to give us. We make poor decisions in light of a gloomy future and we continue to live in "regret". God does not want this to be the case. Shoot, most people do not want this to be the case. We are made for better things, Grace provides it, God has promised it, and we can enjoy it.Shame thrusts you into destructive tendencies Substances, damaging relationships, self-mutilation, eating disorders and the like tend to follow those overwhelmed with shame.
Let us face the truth, if we feel that we have no real future, no one would really loves us, then we are a card carrying demolition expert. We tend to destroy any good thing that might even come our way. Our thinking is that it will soon be destroyed anyway when the other shoe drops, when people find out the truth about us, or just because we need to protect our horrid past. The real truth is the opposite we will have freedom when our horrid past is exposed and brought into the light. The darkness can not hid the light.
The Bible talks about shame 128 times (NIV). God knew that this was going to be a critical topic…one that would affect many people. He did not ignore it and we can not either. It is important that we understand what scripture says. Here are just a few of the mentions.
"The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame." Genesis 2:25
You were created to walk free from shame.
"Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood." Isaiah 54:4
Although the memories may remain, with God’s help you can get to a place where you are not paralyzed by shame.
"Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs." Isaiah 61:7
God longs to take away your shame and bless you in ways unimaginable.
As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."Romans 10:11
When you put your trust in Christ, you can walk free from shame.
I realize that there is no way to tackle such a massive issue with sentences instead of paragraphs. Unfortunately, I do not have the space here to unfold this as I would like, but my prayer is that you might begin to consider the issue in light of your life. Is shame stealing from you? Are its affects visible in your life? If so, I want you to understand that God longs to heal your wounds, remove your pain, and help you walk free from shame. Perhaps this article will provide the necessary push to talk to a spiritual leader about your past. Perhaps, it will drive you to study scripture more deeply searching for answers. Or, maybe, you will spend some time talking with God about the emotions you sense on a regular basis.