Are You Dealing With Shame

Shame
S
hame 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 space that I am allowed, I can not 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.

Shame handcuffs you to your past.  You want to hope for better things in the future, but you can’t seem to overcome your past.

Shame won’t let you receive love.  You can’t receive authentic compliments and you tend to destroy otherwise healthy relationships. 

Shame steals your joy.  “Where is this abundant life the Bible promises?”

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.

Shame thrusts you into destructive tendencies. Substances, damaging relationships, self-mutilation, eating disorders and the like tend to follow those overwhelmed with shame.

 

Ok, so that is what shame does to you…but where does it come from. According to scripture, I see three causes.  

 

  1. Shame comes from sin and mistakes.(John 8: 1-11).  We all have made mistakes.  But, some sins carry with them shame that tries to attach itself and alter your life. If you don’t figure out how to let God, not only forgive you, but remove the shame, you will continually struggle.
  2. Shame comes from pain and abuse. (II Samuel 13:1-20)  Some people struggle with shame not because of their choices, but because of what was done to them.  Although I cannot explain why God would allow some of those things to happen to you, I do know that he can heal your heart and help you overcome your shame. 
  3. Shame comes from awkward and uncomfortable feelings. (Acts 3:1-8) Ever felt out of place or abnormal. Can’t say the right thing?  Don’t look the right way?  Intense and desperate feelings of insecurity are often the things that introduce shame into an otherwise normal life. 

 

Believe it or not, 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. 

But, whatever you do, if you know that shame is attacking your life, do something.  God is just waiting to help you with this incredibly serious matter.

 

 

Thank you for seeking the Truth

Bender Bytes:  Ron Bender