Shame Doesn't Live Here
Shame is one of the things we seem talk about the least but can have the greatest stronghold on our lives! Why is that? Maybe we need to define it and understand it first before we can defeat it! Shame is defined as a consequence of sin. The feelings you find yourself wrestling with are guilt and shame…but do you understand the difference between the two? Guilt is an awareness of your failures made against expectations or rules. Shame is the feeling you dread of your failures as viewed through the eyes of someone else.
Since the days of Adam and Eve, shame has grieved us. Their first instinct was to hide from God. And no wonder…they stood guilty before God. Suddenly, they became sinful, weak, and broken people. We live in a sin-filled world that fosters the instinct to hide. You see, sin is real and we live worried of our weaknesses being exposed and will do anything to hide it. That struggle is real…and that kind of shame is a combination of failure and pride.
Let’s be honest, failure comes in many forms…we can fail morally, we can fail due to our weaknesses…we can fail to live up to other’s expectations or even our own expectations! It’s a battle with our sinful pride pushing us to feel ashamed, and will go to almost any length to hide them from others.
You see, pride-fueled shame can actually wield crazy power over us. It can feel like it controls our lives and consumes every bit of our time and energy.
So what do you do?! How about crying out to God from your brokenness? Scriptures are full of stories of people who blew it and then cried out to God from a broken heart, burdened with the weight of their shame, but were then healed and restored. Take it to Him and tell Him that you need Him…need His love and His forgiveness. "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalms 34:18
Next, share your heart - "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Don’t miss the heart of this verse. It says that He will purify us of "ALL" unrighteousness…even the acts we believe are unforgivable…even when we can’t forgive ourselves!King David did some pretty bad stuff, from adultery to murder…but when he was confronted with his sin, he confessed to God from a broken heart and said, "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.” You see, even David had a hard time letting go. In Psalms 32, David tells us what happened when he tried to keep his guilt and shame hidden inside…"When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord' and You forgave the guilt of my sin” - Psalms 32:3-5
Then, just two verses later, David is overcome and is able to say to God, "You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” Psalms 32:7. David started out hiding from God. His shame drove him to try and hide from God but in the end, God’s forgiveness invited him to hide in Him instead.
You need to claim His total healing and forgiveness. The Bible says, “without faith it’s impossible to please God.” So we have to believe this truth…that when Jesus died on the cross, He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and by His wounds we are healed. - Isaiah 53. It’s awesome to think that those verses were written hundreds of years ago but from the view of being in the past…even before His death happened. God viewed our atonement as a done deal. So why hold onto the shame for your past mistakes when Jesus spoke of as "it is finished” in John 19:30?
Lastly, remind yourself of the truth in Psalms 103:12. We are given this assurance in His word: "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Picture that…eastward travel and westward travel continue without end. So, there is an infinite distance between east and west. God chose that to show that He put the greatest distance possible between you and your sin…your slate has been wiped clean. Today you can hold your head up high knowing this fact, that you are a "new creation" in Christ Jesus and you no longer have to hold onto the shame of a past sin!
Don't buy into the lie that you can never be healed, forgiven, or made whole again. Your healing has already been accomplished through what Jesus has done for you. Accept it, my friend, knowing that “Shame Doesn’t Live Here.”