I broke a plate – “OH! shame”
I have a headache – “OH! shame”
We lost the game – “OH! shame””
I lost my job – “OH! shame”
I failed my exam – “OH! shame”
We’re not together any more – “OH! shame”
There are so many times in our lives when we have the word shame spoken over us. Here are some common shame idioms:
“For shame! Hide one’s face in shame, put someone to shame, shame of it, shame on you, it’s a shame, it’s a crying shame, don’t you feel any shame? I am ashamed of you, you shame me, what a shame, such a shame, bow your head in shame, go to the shame corner, you bring me shame.”
The list goes on. We seem to have been brought up to feel shame. People have spoken shame into us so much and so often that for some people it has become the norm. I was brought up feeling ashamed to be me. One of my Mum’s favourite sayings was, “Why can’t you be more like Paul Taylor?” Paul was my best friend! We lived in he same street. Went to the same school but he was cleverer than me and was in a higher class. I tell you I spent my life trying to be someone else because I knew that I wasn’t enough for my Mum. I needed to be like Paul Taylor. All it spoke to me was “Shame you are you!”
Firstly I tell this story to warn you about the words that come out of your mouth. All words are powerful. Be careful what you say to your children.
“The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.“ (Proverbs 18:21 NLT)
Secondly I tell the story about Paul Taylor because it taught me that shame only comes from one place and that is the enemy. My Mum started the Paul Taylor story but the enemy took it to a whole new level, He brought me into shame. I wasn’t the only one he did this to. Adam and Eve started us on the journey. Remember the Story in Genesis chapter 3. Adam and Eve are tempted by the devil and succumb to eating the fruit. What is the first thing they feel? That’s right…. SHAME!!
“At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.“ (Gen3:7 NLT)
One minute they were okay and the next they knew shame. All I can say is thanks for nothing. When I get to heaven I am going to seek out the man and woman without belly buttons and give them a piece of my mind!! Just kidding!!! I digress… psychologists today call it the ‘shame Spiral’ This is exactly what it is, a spiral. It started with the fruit and then, as with Adam and Eve, it just spirals out of control. The outcome was the same for them as it is for all of us. Separation from a loving Father. One minute they are walking in the garden with their Father the next they are hiding from Him, naked and full of shame. When we live ashamed we cut ourselves of from God’s total love.
One of the saddest verses in scripture is in Genesis Chapter 3,
“But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” “ (Gen 3:9 NLT)
You can feel the Father’s heart. You can hear His heart break. “Where are you?”
His children were hiding from Him! When we feel shame it causes us to hide from God and those around us. It often causes us to be isolated. Shame can be a killer. Suicide is often a result of people not being able to bear the shame or not wanting others to see their shame.
I believe there is only one true answer to stop the shame spiral and that is dwelling in the love of God and knowing what He says about us. Let me share with you how God broke the spiral in me. To do this I have to go back to Paul Taylor!! May God bless him wherever he is now!! I grew up believing I wasn’t good enough. If only I could be like someone else then I could find love. This became a major reason for my mental illness. I had to find the person that I needed to be, to be loved. I was never enough. My relationships proved it. My life echoed it. I sought out people to love me and to do that I took on their identity. I liked what they liked. I wanted what they wanted.
I think one of the saddest things was that actually I was a good kid. All through my teens I went to church three times a Sunday. I loved God. I never really rebelled. When I left home to train to be a teacher my first thought was to find other Christians and a good church. I still wasn’t enough though. My mistakes in life, my sin, was amplified. It just showed that I needed to be a different person. Shame for being you! Is all I heard. Shame for being you! Even church told me that I needed to be ashamed of who I was. In fact for a long period of time I stopped going to church because I felt no point. I could never be enough! I knew God loved me, that Jesus died for me and wanted me but somehow I couldn’t get out of the spiral. The Spiral got so out of control that in August 2015 I ended up again in a mental Institution after a failed suicide attempt. I have already mentioned this in previous posts and I do it again not for anyone to feel sorry for me but to see that if God can do something miraculous with someone in a Mental Hospital He can do it for you in your situation.
God began to show me who I was. He showed me I was unique. The key for me was that I started to believe what God said about me in His word. I started declaring what God said about me in His word over my life. Declaring what God says about you is an important part of seeing who you are. There are so many people around who are willing to declare other things over you that you need to start to counter that by listening to what your Heavenly Father says and begin speaking it over your own life. Start by declaring these verse from Psalm 139 and when you do ask the Holy Spirit to come and make them real for you.
“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvellous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skilfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; When I awake, I am still with You.” (Psalm 139: 13-18 NKJV)
Make the declarations personal:
My Heavenly Father formed my inward parts.
My Heavenly Father covered me in my mother’s womb.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Marvellous are Your works, and so I must be Marvellous.
I was not hidden from You when I was made in secret.
Your eyes saw who I was even before I was formed.
Every day you have for me was already written down even before I was born.
You think about me all the time.
You think I am precious.
You will never leave me.
There is no shame mentioned is there? God is not ashamed of you, so why should you feel shame. God knows more about you than you do, so start believing what He says about you. You see, when Jesus died on the cross He took our shame and bore it himself:
“ looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.“ (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV)
Every thing about the cross was shameful.
“He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.“ (Isaiah 93:3 NKJV)
“As it is written:“Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence,
And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”” (Romans 9:33 NKJV)
If Jesus was willing enough to carry our shame, surely we need to let ours go. If we are still going to carry the shame around it is as if we are saying “Thank you Jesus but I can actually manage fine without you”!!
So Let’s stop living like this:
And start living in this:
God’s Glory for us. Start declaring. Have a look at the posts on this blog about declarations and also search the Web. There are some great sites out there. We have no excuse for living a second rate life. Jesus lives in us:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20 NLT)
We also live in Him in Heavenly places. There is no shame in Heaven so don’t let the enemy put you on the shame spiral any more.
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,” (Eph 2:6 NLT)
Here are some more verses you can make into declarations about yourself.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.“ (2 Cor 5:17 NKJV)
I am in Christ therefore I am a new Creation.
The Old has gone therefore my shame has gone.
I am completely new.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; “ (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV)
I am chosen.
I belong to a royal priesthood.
I belong to a holy nation therefore God sees me as holy,
I am called out of darkness.
I live in His marvellous light.
Make some declarations from the following verses:
“For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:3 NKJV)
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: “ (John 1:12 NKJV)
“and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.“ (Rom 8:17 NKJV)
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.“ (2 Cor 2:14)
Always remember who you are!!