When shame drives us to the cross and brings forth repentance within us, we can see God using it to draw us to Himself. However, when Satan convinces us that shame has to do with identity - not I did something wrong, but I am wrong - shame becomes neurotic guilt.
• we obsess about whatever it is that makes us feel shame
• we become anxious - yet God tells us to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and petition, present your requests unto God.
• chokes out Truth - it’s like a weed that overtakes a garden b/c we continue to feed it by focusing our thoughts on it and how it affects us, rather than focusing on God
• inhibits our ability to live free and abundant lives - but Jesus said, “I have come to give you life and give it to the full.”
• Shame overwhelms us and we feel exposed or buried in a deep pit
The Bible links shame with trouble, sorrow and despair
Honor is the opposite of shame
Defined: respect, worth, merit, distinction, privilege, glory, prestige, esteem, admiration The solution for shame: Fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting Him, He endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now He is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2 | NLT
What is your response to God’s mercy and grace?
1. Confess sin and realize it no longer enslaves you (Romans 6)
2. Love (Ephesians 5:1-2)
3. Live honorably (Hebrews 13:18)
4. Delight in the LORD (Isaiah 58:13b-14a)
5. Do not Fear (Isaiah 54:4)
Next Steps - Psalm 119
1) Do what God has commanded you to do today. 1 Joyful are people of integrity, who follow the instructions of the Lord.
2) Memorize a verse this month. Saturate yourself with Truth. Psalm 119:11" I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. 24 Your laws please me; they give me wise advice."
3) Allow God to make beauty from your ashes. Be encouraged that no tear is wasted and speak the Truth of Scripture to yourself. Psalm 119:28 "I weep with sorrow; encourage me by Your word. 29 Keep me from lying to myself; give me the privilege of knowing Your instructions."
4) Be honest when you are tempted to be defined by your shame, rather than by God's Truth.
• What thought is behind what I am currently feeling?
• Is it a lie I need to identify, renounce and counter with Truth?
• Is it something I need to confess and receive forgiveness for?
• Claim the Truth! (You are forgiven and free, loved, fearfully and wonderfully made, your life has purpose, you are not alone.) Psalm 119:31 "I cling to Your laws. Lord, don’t let me be put to shame! "
• 5) Make space for a Sabbath “And I gave them My Sabbath days of rest as a sign between them and Me. It was to remind them that I am the Lord, who had set them apart to be holy.” Ezekiel 20:12 | NLT
Written by Renee VW