I'm well acquainted with shame on many levels. Shame experienced by acts I did and felt guilty for before I gave my life to Jesus. Shame that has overcome me in my moments of weakness and failure post salvation. Shame that has pierced my heart when I've snapped at my husband. And don't get me started with the shame that accompanies being a parent--one little flicker of frustration towards my little man when he's been crying for more than 5 minutes and that's a shame unlike any other.
We all experience shame now and then on some level. It cuts to the deepest parts of your being; reaches the dark places nobody sees but an all-knowing God.
Here's the thing about shame, though. It's something that isn't necessarily wrong to experience. If you have sinned, shame communicates to your soul an offense and compels you to repentance. This guilt is an indicator of wrong. Shame becomes unhealthy when you sit in after repentance and beat yourself up about it instead of moving into grace. This is the shame I want to speak to. The kind that sticks around after God has forgiven you.
Lamentations 3:22-23 is a valuable reminder to you in your moments of lingering shame:
God has a beautiful gift for each and every day; one of freedom from the guilt. It's a gift He extends every morning and your role is simply to accept it. I know that can seem so hard at times. You feel you have sinned horribly and don't deserve forgiveness. But that's not your call to make--that's Gods. And if you have put your faith in Him and repented, His mercy is yours. Recieve it.
Let go of the shame and condemnation, and walk in the freedom of Christ.
You are a child of God--redeemed and restored. You won't be perfect this side of Heaven and sure, you will make mistakes. But God won't hold them against you and neither should you. You are not smarter nor a higher judge of morality than Him so stop acting like it as you hoard your guilt.
Live in His freedom and take that message to a hurting world. Share with others how God saved you and forgave you. Not just at salvation but each and every day. Take that message to others and use one of the most powerful tools in your hand--your testimony.
Bible Verses on Shame
“Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” Isaiah 61:7
"With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2
"Let us have confidence, then, and approach God's throne, where there is grace. There we will receive mercy and find grace to help us just when we need it." Hebrews 4:16