Shame is undeniably one of the most widely used tactics of the enemy against women. Shame tells us to isolate, and shame makes us a victim. Shame tells us we shouldn’t accept help. Shame tells us that we are unlovable. Shame tells us we are bad daughters, wives, and mothers. Shame robs us from approaching the Lord with confidence. When shame manifests and is left unaddressed, the effects are many. It quickly becomes the false identity we take on, consuming every aspect of how we view ourselves and others. The hook of shame keeps us in habitual sin as we portray only what we want the world to see.
So, What is shame exactly? Do we truly understand how it manifests? How can we silence shame from speaking to and through us?
At one point in our life, most of us can think back to a time when either we ourselves were unwilling to receive help or encountered someone who needed help but refused to take it. [Proverbs 1:7] I believe it is true that anyone unwilling to receive help is incapable of helping others effectively. How can we truly understand how to lend a hand if we have never been humble enough to accept a hand lent to us? Dealing with shame is hard work that requires a tremendous amount of vulnerability and authenticity.
So when we begin to look at shame at the surface, we can see it all the way back from the beginning of man. We sinned, and we hid in shame from the Lord. [Genesis 3:8] Shame comes when we become conscious of sin or mistakes made. Shame always causes us to hide or isolate, but at the core is deeply rooted in pride. Simply put, shame is just a manifestation of underlying pride within our character. When we are living under a cloud of shame, we have fallen into the dangerous belief (intentionally or unintentionally) that God isn’t all-knowing, all-powerful, and the blood of Jesus hasn’t covered us. I know that may seem tough to admit or unpack, so let’s look at this together through God’s grace and mercy.
- If we truly believe God is all-knowing – then we can accept the truth that He already knew every sin we would commit, and He still created us and loves us regardless. [Psalm 139:1-2, Psalm 139:13]
- If we truly believe God is all-powerful – then we can accept that His promises to fulfill His will in our lives will come to fruition. Our mistakes are not more powerful than God’s will. [Isaiah 46:9-10]
- If we truly believe the blood of Jesus has covered us – then we can accept that every sin was already overcome through the death of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. [1 John 2:2]
Who else is thankful for the word of God and how it renews our minds?! When we recognize these three truths, humiliation has no power, and shame completely loses its sting. There is nothing we ever did to deserve God’s love, protection, grace, and mercy, which cancels the thought that we could ever do anything to lose it! But, breaking free from the manifestation of shame is only half of the battle.
Shame is easy to spot from the surface, and it is easy to identify as we interact with others. It often screams at us when offenses come and is so painful that we would rather hide it away than ever deal with the humiliation of it again. That is precisely Satan’s plan. We don’t see at the surface of shame the roots that grow deeply in pride. When we receive that we are not a victim – but a victor in Christ, we stop looking at everyone else and begin to examine ourselves truly. This empowers us to see shame for what it really is. Pride. Maybe you can hear the undertone for yourself…
Shame says: “Being right in the sight of man is more important than being right with God.”
Ask Yourself: Who are we worshipping? God or man?
Shame says: “Your inadequacies are stronger than God’s power.”
Ask Yourself: Does this sound like self-worship?
We can not walk in shame and confidence of our Mighty God simultaneously. When we choose to walk in anything other than the confidence that was bought for us, we have begun to worship at the feet of false idols. At the root of shame is the prideful worship of self and man. Shame says “me and them” vs. the only answer which is Him. Jesus Christ.
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.Hebrews 4:16
We walk together
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