I once read that shame goes beyond feeling guilty for WHAT you’ve done because it tears into your soul and condemns WHO you are. That’s why it lasts so long, goes so deep, and is so hard to come out from under.
Nobody likes to feel guilt, but shame feels even worse. Guilt says, “I did something wrong”, while shame says, “I am what’s wrong.” Guilt says, “I made a mistake.” Shame shouts, “I am the mistake!” (Excerpt from Breaking the Bondage of Legalism.) I can change my behavior, but if something is flawed with my very being I am hopeless. Right? Wrong.
1-As a believing child of God you are not guilty. Jesus Christ died for all sin over 2000 years ago on an old rugged cross for you and me. He bore our guilt and shame that very day. He defeated sin and death forever. Make your peace with the one you offended, or the one who caused you pain, and move on in life. Easier said than done right? However with Christ in you anything is possible and it will take time, but He CAN do it in and through you.
Colossians 2:13-15 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; He has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
2-If you are a believer it is Christ in you that has changed you ~ made you into a new creation. Because you are a new creation ~ chosen, loved and made holy by God ~ you are to no longer live in guilt and shame. (Col. 3:12, 2 Cor. 5:17) He is not ashamed of who you are and does not want you to be ashamed of who you are either. Being ashamed of His creation is like telling our all-knowing, almighty God that He missed the mark when He made you. Psalm 139 tells us all His works are wonderful and you are one of His wonderful works. Living under the bondage of shame is like saying to Him He messed up when He created you not only the first time, but also when He remade you the second time.
3-You cannot change your behavior inside or out. It is His Spirit in you that makes the change in you. If you attempt to do the changing in and of yourself failure will follow every time. Maybe that’s why you feel shame now. Maybe after so many failures you’ve given up and accepted defeat.
Oh precious one don’t give up! Jesus Christ disarmed the powers and authorities and triumphed over them by the cross. (Col. 2:15) It is those wicked powers of the enemy that would have you believe you are defeated. He and his cohorts use all sorts of things, thoughts, and even other people to keep you down.
4-Don’t let shame continue to stand in your way. Live life as a whole, complete woman because as a believer God made you alive with Christ. (Col. 2:13a) Don’t live as the walking dead… lifeless, hopeless, guilty, shameful, and defeated. If you walk as if you are dead, you wear a mask that hides the real you. The real you is alive to Christ, a new creation, made righteous through Jesus, and loved beyond measure.
Take off the mask of the walking dead… shame.