“Evil seeks to devour beauty at every turn, and it does so by wielding the traumatic experience of shame as its primary weapon.”
We all experience shame to varying degrees throughout our lives, but until we see what shame costs us, we might not take up our armor and fight back against it. Shame is the thief of intimacy, in our relationships with people and with God, but shame steals so much more from us than just intimacy. Shame also creates fear, preventing us from stepping into God's destiny for our lives.
The feelings that we are unlovable, that we do not belong, and we are unworthy of connection, are not the worst parts of shame, although those are more than enough to bear. The worst part of shame lies in the robbery of our true selves, our freedom, and the joy that comes from living abundantly.
Shame keeps us from creating beauty in and through ourselves. It prevents us from being the person God created us to be, who He had in mind all along while designing us. When we hide behind the mask of performance in hopes of fitting in and being accepted, our false selves hinder us from experiencing the joy that comes from the freedom of being our true selves. And it is when we are our true selves that Christ is glorified.
A few months back, the Lord revealed to me that my best ministry which gives Him the most glory occurs when I am free to be myself. I discovered my true self appears when I am free from the expectations of others and when my focus is not on performance or perfection. It is when I am being me and not trying to be like someone else, that God receives the glory.
Isaiah 54:4a describes God’s desire for each of His children. “Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth.” As we experience God’s grace, His unconditional love and acceptance, and trust in His goodness, shame will have less of an impact on our lives.
The stakes of shame are too high to ignore. It is truly a shame what shame does to us! It’s time to stop allowing the enemy to use shame against us and instead seek the Lord’s healing balm of grace to remove our shame.
“I end up burning great energy managing my shame, energy that is then not available for me to be an agent for creating goodness and beauty right where I am living.”
How have you experienced the high stakes of shame?