“Shame Off You”
“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 and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.”
Isaiah 54:4 (NIV)
I spent the first 22 years of my life shackled by shame. Looking back, I realize I had always felt it. Shame had been a part of my life from my earliest memories.
I felt it when I was rejected. Made to feel unworthy--of no value.
I felt it when I was abused and couldn’t tell anyone. And believed it was somehow my fault.
I felt it when I tried to hide or apologize for who I was, minimize my talents or overachieve and compensate for feeling somehow “less than.”
Have you felt it? If you’re human, you have--and the result is always the same.
Shame is the fear of being unworthy, and it adversely affects our relationship with God, ourselves and others. It greatly hinders our ability to receive God’s unconditional love and share it with others.
I wish I could say that as soon as I decided to follow God and dedicate my life to serving Him through helping others, the shame in my life disappeared. But unfortunately, that’s not how shame works.
I expected that once I’d left my old life and joined God’s team, I would feel free and could simply forget the past and move on. But I didn’t.
I was forgiven and had access to all of the promises of God in Christ Jesus, but I still carried a broken heart, a wounded soul and a tormented mind because shame destroys our internal settings.
Walking with God to work through and fight against the shame in my life has been my single most difficult journey. But doing the hard work of healing is the only way we can get to the other side--the freedom to fulfill our destiny.
Because of God’s great love, I began to discover the power of God’s Word to break through the lies I had believed--and to reveal the truth of who I am and why I was created. Notice the key word in that sentence is began.
Breaking free from the shackles of shame is not an overnight experience or a quick-fix, 10-step process. It is, however, a grand, ongoing adventure of discovering the depths of God’s love and the huge scope of God’s power to transform us, re-create us and continually renew us.
Today’s key verse, Isaiah 54:4, spells this out for us: “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 and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.”
God created you for a unique purpose: He has a specific plan for your life and a powerful destiny He wants you to fulfill. And guess what? Shame has no place in that purpose, plan and destiny. Jesus came to set you free from shame.
Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me and for helping me walk this journey to complete freedom from shame. Please help me continually seek You when I start to feel shame’s strongholds creeping in. As I seek You and search Your Word, please reveal to me the power to break the shackles of shame that bind me. Father, I believe that You are writing a great story for my life, and that I’m a vital member of Your plan at work in this hurting world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (NIV)
Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (ESV)