Shame seeks to define us, tell us who we are based on what we have, don’t have or the things we’ve done. God would have us define ourselves based on his love for us. According to Wikipedia, Shame is “an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self..”
Another way shame seeks to define us is through negative occurrences that may have happened to us. This could be a traumatic experience via abuse, bullying or even discrimination. Irrespective of where the shame you feel stems from, it doesn’t have to define or dictate the rest of your life. Here are a few questions I’d like to ponder;
How do you see yourself? Is it still through the lens of your sinful mistakes or failures?or through what others think of you?
Know this, The way you see yourself matters. In Acts 13:38-39, Peter states “We are here to proclaim that through this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. Everyone who believes in him is made right in God’s sight” You are given a new way to see yourself through the gospel of Jesus. This is great news! It means that because of Christ’s accomplishment through his death and resurrection, your sins and failures are forgiven and you are righteous before God. This is your new identity. Justification with God is not as a result of the good works you do but by believing in Jesus.
Romans 4:23-25 (NLT) “And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.”
Christ died and arose that we may be free from the burden of seeking to be justified by our works, people or our accomplishments but find our right standing in God alone. Not based on how perfect we are but on the free gift of righteousness. Like Paul said in Philippians 3:8-9, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith”
Our righteousness is by faith. We must do good works not to seek for God’s approval but from a secure place of identity and love for people.
In summary, you’ll be free from shame when you convinced of the truth that your right standing and worth is based on what Christ has done for you . You’re forgiven and acquitted, free to live and fulfill the purpose God has called you to. Move your focus from the negative evaluation of yourself to Christ.
Your identity is not in your past, present or future. Your identity is in Christ.