While shame is horrible and something we don’t want to be caught in or promote and pass on, it may have a bigger purpose than us. In God’s upside-down world, God can use anything as a blessing in disguise. Even shame. This is part 11 of an 11 part series on shame.
We all want to live in a shame free world.
A world where unkind and harsh words, criticism of our being, and outright rejection don’t make us think there is something wrong with us.
That we are the defective ones.
Where we feel we need to hide the true us from those around us.
But we don’t.
Shame is here in this world and it affects us all.
But what if we turned the pencil on its head and saw that shame just might be a kind of teacher?
That while shame is horrible and something we don’t want to be caught in or promote and pass on, it just may have a bigger purpose than we think.
None of us gets to live in a shame free world.
I would do a lot to be able to live in a shame free zone.
But none of us get that privilege.
I don’t know anyone who survives to adulthood not touched by shame.
Not even the most perfect of us gets this opportunity.
Think of Jesus.
His life was surrounded by shameful circumstances and opportunities.
His mother was an unwed mother.
He was born in a stable.
Joseph was not his real dad.
His family had to flee because the king was killing young boys in his town.
His family was not well-to-do.
He was different from the other kids.
He didn’t follow the typical path of other religious teachers at the time.
The other religious teachers were jealous of him and tried to trap him and make him look ridiculous.
He died a horrible and very public death which was designed to shame the offenders.
We have an advocate who can sympathize with us.
From just these few highlights of his life, we can be sure that Jesus was shamed by others for his circumstances, who he was, and what he did.
He knows what it is like to not fit in and be like everyone else.
He knows the heaviness of shame filled words hurled at him.
He had to fight against the lies that shame was hoping he would believe.
Only unlike us, he didn’t believe the lies of shame. He knew who and whose he was and used his father’s truth to crush them.
He came not to shame us, but to take away our shame.
To cure our shame.
To tell us the truth of who we are and why we don’t need to live in shame anymore.
Yes, I want to live in a shame free zone. But when I realize that even Jesus didn’t get to live in a shame free zone, with a disappointing reality check I know there is no way I can either. (At least in this lifetime.)
Maybe there is a reason why a shame free environment would not be the best place for us to reside.
Maybe that’s part of the bigger plan. What our enemy intends for our harm, can really be used for our good.
Can shame be a blessing in disguise?
What if God wants us to live in this beautiful and yet shame filled world because it is the best place for us What if this environment teaches us more about our self? Our neighbor? Our Creator? What if it gives us an opportunity to detect and combat lies? Apply the fruits of the holy spirit? Grow in knowledge and grace? Connect with others? Grow in empathy? And test and grow our character and identity in ways that a perfect paradise never would?
We don’t want to be shamed. But what if we are supposed to be learning how to not shame others?
We want to be included and feel shame when we are not. But what if we are supposed to be learning how to include others?
We often believe the truth others tell us about our self. But what if we are to be learning the truth of our self through God’s eyes?
We hear shame saying we are not good enough. But what if we are to learn that we are enough with God.
We like to please those around us, and often feel shame when we don’t. But what if we are supposed to be pleasing God over men?
We look to our own limitations and lack and feel shame. But what if we are to look to God and delight in our limitations and circumstances and be strengthened by him?
Our shame often keeps us silent. But what if God wants us to be vulnerable and share our secrets of shame and thereby heal our self and others at the same time while developing connection and community.
We look to our defects and feel shame. But what if God wants us to turn our defects into strengths that make us fight for others, help others, and become our testimony and ministry?
We hear shame telling us to hide our identity, be someone different. But what if God delights is us being who he made us to be?
We try to solve our own problems and heal our self from shame. But what if God wants us to look to him to solve our problems and heal our shame?
We find our identity in doing more and more. But what if God wants us to find our identity in being his beloved child?
We find our success in power, money, and fame and feel shame when we don’t achieve them. But what if God wants us to find success in loving him and others?
We like to focus inward, thinking mostly of our self, when we feel shame. But what if God wants us looking upward and at him?
We like to compare ourselves to others and may feel shame when we lose the comparison. But what if God wants us to stop comparing ourselves to each other and instead be our best authentic selves?
We feel trapped by the words and lies of humans that shame us. But what if God wants us to find and believe his words so we are free?
We feel unloved in our shame and think others are judging us. But what if God loves us more in our shame and has only love and empathy for us?
We feel we need to hide our hurts caused by shame. But what if God is waiting to heal and hold our hurts?
It seems opposite, but shame can lead us to God. Making us better, stronger, more loving people.
We can be people who see the damage of shame and long for a world where shame and its lies no longer exist.
Shame may have a higher purpose.
We all want to live in a perfect world. Where people treat us with dignity and respect. Where no one got angry at us and shames us.
Where nothing triggers our past shame points.
But this may not be the place we will grow the most.
Shame can remind us how easily we listen to lies and misinterpret events. That our identity needs to be grounded in Him and not what we or others think.
In God’s upside-down world, God can use anything as a blessing in disguise. Even shame.
He can use the hurt and pain of shame to draw us closer to him and teach us his truths that will free us from shame.
And we can then be his hands and feet and point others to freedom.
Check out this resource that covers everything you need to know about shame, including frequently asked questions.
Or take the Shame Quiz and begin to identify how shame is distorting your identity and worth. Once we know the lies that shame is wanting us to believe, we can more easily crush them with the truth.
Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.
Download a free guided exercise to help you heal from shame
Download a free PDF freebie, “What to Do When You Are Feeling Shame: A Guided Exercise.” It will walk you through some practical exercises to deal with shame. Ending with how to avoid feeling shame in the future. My passion is to see you living shame-free; in glorious freedom. “What to Do When You Are Feeling Shame: A Guided Exercise” can help you step towards that freedom by breaking the lies of shame you believe and replacing those lies with the truth.
From Shame to Grace: How to Erase Shame From our Identities, a 12 part series — Other posts in this series on shame include:
May link up at Kelly Balarie (#purposeful faith), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Maree Dee (#Grace & Truth), Anita Ojeda (#inspirememonday), InstaEncouagements ((IE Link-Up), and Mary Geison (#tellhisstory).
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