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Slamming the Door on Shame


 

“Shame’s power can be broken. In fact, its power has been broken...by the love of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen.” 

Christine Caine 


Shame knocks the most loudly in the areas that we care the most about.

 

The enemy deceives us into believing that we must be the perfect parent, spouse, friend, employee, or leader. Shame settles in when our imperfections and not being good enough are obvious. The enemy’s accusations, condemnation, and self-critical talk make us feel worse. So, we try to numb ourselves from the pain of shame by temporarily comforting ourselves with our idols which become addictions that compound our shame. This leads to hiding and secret-keeping which results in isolation from God and others. Shame kills relational intimacy.

 

God doesn’t ask us to be perfect because He knows we can’t. His only desire is for us to humbly submit to Him and to do the best we can do with the truth we know and the freedom we are walking in. 


There are at least two ways that help us slam the door on shame and break out of its cycle. First, is repentance. Repentance is turning our hearts and minds away from ourselves and sin and turning them toward God’s heart and ways. God gave us the gift of repentance, to free us from the guilt when we’ve sinned. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19). Instead of punishing ourselves and paying penance, receive God’s forgiveness through confession and repentance.

 

Secondly, to halt shame’s cycle, be kind to yourself. The enemy wants us to feel condemned and to put ourselves down, whereas God wants us to experience His grace by showing kindness to ourselves. Being a grace-giver instead of an accuser helps us stop the cycle of shame by not playing into the enemy’s hand. Let’s be more like God and less like Satan, by speaking kindly to ourselves and giving ourselves the grace we’ve received from God when we’ve fallen into the abyss of shame. Romans 2:4b says, “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance.”

 

The next time the enemy tries to make you think you must do it perfectly, let him know the Lord only requires that you do your best. Slam the door on the cycle of shame right when it tries to open. If you’ve fallen into the shame cycle, then choose repentance and kindness. 


“Given an opportunity, shame will mask itself as your best friend, and it will convince you that it is only there to help you.” 

Jason Vallotton 


Relevant Reflection: 

How can you break the cycle of shame the next time you find yourself in it? 


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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