It’s a word we don’t use often because it’s a concept we don’t fully understand. Yet that doesn’t stop us from throwing out a quick “shame on you” to anyone 8 to 80 who finds themselves caught in unsavory behavior.
We love a good shaming—in the church and in the world—with all of our holier than thou rhetoric. But we’re ignorant of the curse that phrase entails.
SHAME VS GUILT
Shame is often used interchangeably with guilt, though not the same. They’re more like cousins. In a recent Q and A session, noted therapist, Shundria Riddick, distinguished guilt (“I feel bad for…”) from shame (“I am bad for…”).
And with shame comes self-isolation on top of loneliness caused by the rejection of those shaming you.
A subtle word change that has the power to trap you in the condemnation the book of Romans says every believer is free from.
What is condemnation? It’s the judgement that declares you are ruined by sin and deserving of death. A verdict that in Hebrews 9 we’re told sets you on a path of self- destruction once your conscience gets wind of it.
So, it’s imperative you embrace the truth of the power of Jesus’ shed blood to both cleanse and redeem you by faith He died in your place.
DOES SHAME HAVE A PLACE?
And I get the thought process that if someone makes you feel really bad about what you did, you’re more likely to not do it again. Sounds rational, but it doesn’t turn out that way.
School systems are full of kids shamed into increasing delinquency who end up adults in prisons promoting the same, because if you’re already condemned as worthless, what do you have to lose? If you’re going down, why not go in a blaze of glory?
BUT HERE’S THE THING
The crazy part is, shame—this lingering sense of not being enough or no good at all—is part of our pre wiring. A predisposition, a facet of the curse we inherited, courtesy of Adam and Eve.
Not only do we have a natural tendency to read disapproval, even when not intended, in the faces of those who matter most, we’re sensitive to it from the womb.
An expectant mother who still feels shame from being molested as a child, like some women in my podcast audience, disconnects from those closest to her, even the child in her womb.
So, unless intentional, she’s less likely to have positive feelings about the baby and her ability to love and nurture him. And post delivery would be prone to post-partum depression and have difficulty bonding with him, leaving him to grow up feeling shame for not being enough.
That’s an extreme case, but shame is also devastating for the toddler who reads disappointment in the eyes of his father who’s never felt he pleased his father and lives with under a cloud of failure.
Because the cycle of shame is a strategy of the enemy to keep us negatively self pre-occupied so we’re not positively occupied with Christ. Satan knows to behold Jesus is to become like Him, living for our good and His glory.
So, he whispers shame in your ear every chance he gets. And he’ll have someone stop by to sneer a “shame on you” for extra emphasis.
SHAME OFF YOU!
But because Jesus came that you might have life and life more abundantly, I’m here to say, “Shame off you!”
I come with words that are spirit and life, as Jesus does. Because He doesn’t want you tied again to a yoke of bondage.
If you are in Christ, you are a NEW creation, so past shame has no place in your new life. And your new life has no place for shame because there is now no condemnation since Jesus was condemned in your place!
You are free to turn from shame to follow the Spirit. It’s being led by the Spirit, not shame, that keeps you from fulfilling the burning lust of your natural tendencies.
SHAME FANS THE FLAME
Now you may be thinking, sweet of you to share this Vanessa, but I don’t have any shame. And you may not. But since you won’t be perfect till Jesus comes back, you might want to ask the Lord to show you if you’re harboring shame.
Because shame likes to lurk in the shadows. It doesn’t announce itself. It’s successful because it stays under your radar. But it can’t stay under God’s!
So, as we go into the second half of your best year yet—yes, I said it by faith—I pray you do it free from the weight that so easily trips you up. Shame OFF you! And shame off me too!
I’m rooting for you!
NEED COMPANY TALKING WITH GOD?
Prayer Changes Things
Join me on YouTube as I pray a quick prayer to get you going in the right direction. Whether you’re new to prayer or your prayer life has gone stale, nothing replaces quality time with Jesus. So, if prayer feels awkward, I’m happy to pray with you.
And if you pray regularly but want some company, I’m here for that too.
And because these prayers are based on God’s Word, you can be confident you’re praying according to His will.
IF YOU’RE A MOM AND YOU’RE TIRED OF PRETENDING…
Join me for Motherhood Unmasked
It’s the podcast for you, the mom battling the effects of your childhood trauma on your parenting journey.
Let’s get real about the challenges we face, so you’re as comfortable in your skin as you want your kids to be in theirs. TUESDAYS on any platform where you enjoy music and podcasts.