Shame is much like being stalked at night only to hear the roar of a wild lion behind you.
It causes our skin to rise and sends terror to the depths of our heart. It feeds off our fear and if we don’t turn and face it to defend ourselves we will eventually succumb to being ruled by it. Passion and zeal will no longer exist, simply disappointment in ourselves.
When people stumble and fall back into the temptation of drugs, alcohol, or pornography shame creeps in. Shame will knock at your door even when it’s as simple as something like letting down a friend, family, or yourself. We are the ones who always open the door or leave the window open that invites shame in or let it climb in the window.
Shame is evil. It does does nothing but tear us down. It is used as a tactic from the enemy of this world to corrupt our minds into thinking we are worthless.
Much like a school bully, shame is belittling. It waits….lurking to find something different or wrong and expose and exploit to the point of self deprivation, tearing at our self-esteem.
Shame never gives us a way out. It does not bring solutions. But shame also has a fear.
Shame fears grace.
Grace is a gift from God that stems from love. Grace is the covering of our mistakes and brings a sense of comfort that makes shame flee. It makes us unashamed while still moving us forward towards change.
Let me give you a tangible example.
Let’s say you have an issue with pornography. You tend to look at it quite often regardless of the fact that you feel it is damaging to your mind and spirit. Every time after viewing pornography you feel awful and it’s temporal satisfaction doesn’t outweigh the heart wrenching conviction afterwards.
That weight you feel deep within you tells you something isn’t as it should be. Call it conviction. Call it your conscious. We all have it and it resonates deep in your soul. Shame would want you to hold onto that feeling of degrading self-corruption forever. And these are the things it will whisper to you:
“See…. you are worthless”
“Look at what an awful of a person you are”
“NO real man would do such a thing and you will never be any good because you can’t kick this”
But the good news and reality is that God’s grace covers us through our stumbling. His grace is here for us through our entire life, and through Him we feel conviction, not to feel shame but to give us a feeling that what we’re doing is destructive to ourselves. This grace covers us from shame in that we don’t have to keep trying to be good people or stop “bad” behavior, but that we’ve loved in spite of our repeated failures. Conviction simply reminds us that we’re hurting ourselves and a change needs to take place.
Shame will only tell you that you are worthless and disgusting.
Grace will tell you how loved you are, that God’s not upset, and now that we’ve recognized an area that’s harmful let’s put in the effort to change it.
It’s just like any good father reminding his young son the dangers of playing in the street.
So when you make a mistake, and you will because we’re all human, don’t open the door of shame, but rather understand that there is grace for days and that in God there is always direction to a change of heart. It’s a battle to freedom, but there is a way out, and freedom is a choice away.