Have you ever heard someone say “shame on you!”? Maybe someone has said it to you. There is someone that is continually trying to say that to you—enemy #1—satan himself, the accuser. He whispers in the ears of Christians on a regular basis, “shame on you”.
You see, guilt says, “I did something wrong, I need to repent and change.” Shame says, “There is something wrong with me as a person”. Condemnation takes it to the next level and says, “I am no good. Something is wrong with me. I am not loved by God. I am worthless, etc.” Condemnation can be an utter feeling of hopelessness.
What does shame sound like in someone’s life? Here are just some examples of the voice of shame: “Everyone thinks you are a good Mother—you’re not. You’re a fake. You are always yelling at your kids, always stressed out, you never have time for your kids, your kids don’t listen to you, look at yourself, you’re a failure as a Mom.” or “You have to work two jobs, Dad, because you are not a good provider, you can’t hold down a job, you’re a failure as a Father and husband, everyone thinks your weak, you should be walking with your head down.” or “You’re ugly and overweight, what’s wrong with you? Nobody loves you” or “You are never good at anything” or “You have sinned too much, God only tolerates you and doesn’t even love you” or “You will never get out of debt, you are horrible with money, shame on you” And the list goes on…
You see when we have shame, it weighs us down. It weighs down our hearts, our emotions, our prayer life, relationships, etc. Some have walked in shame for decades because of what they have done in the past—something that God has long ago forgiven them of. We think that because we are surprised by our sin and weaknesses that somehow God is too. Let me tell you something, NOTHING you say or do takes Him by surprise, ever.
So how do I deal with shame? Basically, shame enters from a heart that does not understand God’s heart. When we lack confidence in God and what He really feels and thinks about us in ALL situations, it can open the door to bring in shame. We have to remember what David said in Psalm 139:13-18, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand–when I awake, I am still with you.”
You are AMAZING to God, did you know that? Others may not think so. Others may misunderstand you. Others may try to hurt and wound you or make fun of you. But your Father in Heaven thinks you’re beautiful and wonderful inside and out! We rebuke all shame that tries to come near us and we guard against it in the future by the revelation of what your Father thinks and feels about you. You didn’t get the job promotion—its ok there is something better around the corner, because Father says so. You haven’t met someone to marry yet, but instead of shame, you see that Father’s timing is perfect and it’s not you, it’s all about His timing. You don’t make friends well, instead of embracing shame, you draw close to God and see and know that there is no friend as close as Jesus. Someone doesn’t like your singing voice—it’s ok! Because Heaven stops to listen every time you sing, because you are touching God’s heart. We are the ones that give shame permission to come in and set up shop in our hearts. You may not feel very beautiful or handsome, and so shame tries to come, but instead, you take a deep breath, quiet yourself and hear the Father whisper to your heart, “I love you. You are so beautiful. You take my breath away when I look at you. I created you and therefore you are perfect. I NEVER create a mess or a mistake. I create beauty. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I am the One beholding you and you are loved!”
Shame also tries to come in because of our sin. Everyone sins. Everyone. Repentance is obviously priority one when we do sin. We know that. Without repentance you can’t be forgiven. Without repentance you won’t feel clean (Read Psalm 51), pure or confident in God. When we sin, it tries to rob us of our confidence in God. And if we don’t understand God’s heart when we sin it can lead to years of tremendous, debilitating shame. If you sin throughout the day, in word, thought or deed, repent and move on. Why? Because shame will want to come in. His Blood is enough. Period! When you ask Jesus to forgive you and wash you clean, in His eyes, it never even happened. But shame says no one can love you that much. No one can forgive so quickly. Jesus does. Every time. His love for you is beyond comprehension right now, but one day we will all know what price He really paid to bring us close to His heart. The moment you asked for forgiveness from your heart, His Blood washed you clean. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness” But you don’t know what I have done! But you have to realize what He did! He didn’t just pay for some sins, but all. And not only is He faithful to forgive, but to cleanse you. Clean. There is nothing like a clean heart. Quit putting yourself on “Spiritual probation” because of what you have done. We don’t crawl back to God hoping He will maybe, perhaps have a little love left over for me, no.
If you have done something in your past that you are very ashamed of, here’s what you do. First ask God to forgive you. Then you may have to ask others to forgive you. It may be something that you need to tell someone, maybe not. The important thing is that your heart is right with God. Ask Him to forgive you for all the years you have beat yourself up and allowed shame to have its place. You are clean now. Don’t go back to those thoughts again. Command all shame to go and feel its shackles fall off of you and live in your freedom! If you deal with habitual sin and live in constant shame, know that because He died AND rose again, He has given you the power to overcome! Repent for the sin, command shame to loose you and let you go and declare victory over the area that once held you bound. You are now set free! No more shackles! Shame is gone. You are a new person. It’s a new day! What once had you bound in shame is now your greatest victory and testimony.
And remember, the foundation of our hearts must be built on what God thinks and feels about us otherwise it will bring shame. DO NOT listen to shame any longer, listen to love. God’s perfect, beautiful, everlasting love. You are loved my friend!
Ryan Bruss, Director