Overcoming Shame

So let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big day approaching.
Hebrews 10:22-25 (The Message)

We find it hard to think of some of our actions that have caused us to feel shame in life. Yet all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Sometimes, when sin is still present or when full forgiveness or repentance has not taken place yet, that shame can be quite persistent. While guilt is seeing what you’ve done, shame is seeing yourself as a failure because of what you’ve done. Guilt is looking at the sin; shame is looking at yourself. If you allow yourself to meditate upon guilt, it will turn into shame. Guilt, if not properly dealt with, turns into a stronghold called shame.

When we cannot shake off our feelings of shame, we might need some help from others who may have dealt with similar issues. The Scripture above says that we should spur each other on, especially as we see the big day of Christ’s second coming approaching and that we should not avoid worshipping together. When we are carrying shame in our body and soul, we can be quite consumed by it. It can overwhelm us at times and in those times we often avoid being with others. Or we cannot hear the full truth (of God’s Word) yet, or cannot fully participate in worship, because our shame gets in the way. Do you recognize that?

Here are some pointers from a book* that helped me to understand how to deal with our shame:

Make a crucial choice to get rid of your shame. Only you can make that decision.
Surrender your fears to God. That means you need to let go of the controls.
Take responsibility. Deal with the sin and don’t go back to it. You are not a victim, but you played a part in it.
Renounce everything in your life that doesn’t please God. Break with these things that keep you away from him. For me that meant stopping my use of Pinterest as it became a back door to sin for me.
Resist Satan. Does this speak for itself? You know where you need to resist him!
Let God reposition you. Claim your position in Christ. After you have received forgiveness and repented, you are a new creature. Your sincere repentance will manifest itself in a changed lifestyle. Then there should be no more place for shame. Find support in a men’s group to reposition yourself!
The memory of those times when we did not walk with Him and entertained sin in our life can be painful. But it should not reign over us anymore, otherwise who would be in control then? So let’s do it – full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going.

* Donald Hilliard, After the Fall: Resurrecting Your Life from Shame, Disgrace, and Guilt, (Destiny Image Publishers, 2007)

End of article.

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