Saturday, October 27, 2012


All my life, I've wrestled with shame! It has been a battle I've revisited many times. I used to confuse it with guilt.  Guilt can be a constructive thing as it demands a response: hopefully, a time of repentance and an opportunity to rebuild  intimacy with my Creator. Shame, on the other hand, always tears down. Shame whispers, "You are disgusting, undesirable, dirty. You're not good enough to deserve God's love. You could never be useful to a perfect God."  The author of lies knows I yearn for my Father's approval and acceptance; he tries his best to fill me with feelings of humiliation and disgrace over everything from stupid mistakes to wrongs completely out of my control.
I once had a boss who from the very start saw me as a personal threat and successfully pushed me out of a position I dearly loved. For several years, I  punished myself over and over for my failure to engage her favor. Earlier in life, I suffered at the hands of selfish people, but instead of realizing they were the source of hurt, I've limped along believing I could have prevented their wrongdoing.  Oh, I've messed up many a time, but instead of owning the mistakes and offering them to my God who forgives and forgets, I've held vigil over those painful decisions, slowly smothering in debilitating shame.
I was recently reminded that I don't have to bow down to satan's destructive lies, but I do have to make a choice to believe my Father and his Word. Psalm 3:3 speaks truth to me: "But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high."   God is the lifter of my head. He brings my eyes to His and when they meet, I'm confident of his great love. Shame loses its painful grip.

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