2 Corinthians 4:1-2 – “Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” NKJV
Back to our discussion or consideration of the third type of shame where we hear and believe we are ‘worthless’ and ‘flawed’ to the point of having no value. Some believers have been abused in their past and carry the baggage of shame with them. They are emotionally, mentally and spiritually imprisoned and cannot seem to break free and often do not realize the root cause of their problems. They were told they were (stupid, idiots, brainless, an accident waiting to happen, clumsy, and dunce, nerdy, ugly and worthless or worse). They have been SHAMED and now ARE SHAME!
It would do us all well to take to heart the words of James 3:6 where we are told that words or the tongue set on fire the whole course of nature. It is amazing how many people are living out what someone said about them years before. I want you to understand that one word, one phrase or one incidence does not do it. What happens is when you are ‘shamed’ you hear it and then like a recording play it back over and over until it is internalized and you believe it. Remember Proverbs tells us that ‘as a man thinks in his heart so is he.’ Once you have internalized it you are not long experiencing shame you have become shame. You have believed the lie and it is tormenting you in ways you do not even realize. Dear one I offer you the words of 1 John 4:17 – “…as He is, so are we IN THIS WORLD.” That is how we are to live and our worth to God.
Shame will show up in ‘addictions’ and ‘fantasies’. It is not WHO you are for if you are in Christ you are a NEW CREATION. In Christ you are the righteousness of God. Shame is a foreign element that has attached itself and it does not belong! It is not what you did it is what was done to you. Let me take this to an extreme and relate an incident that I know of where a couple went to a party and the husband made a joke about his wife’s big nose and as a result she was so shamed she became a recluse.
When we are shamed we attempt to hide it. The fear of humiliation is so powerful that in most cases those shamed build impenetrable walls to protect themselves. They live lives in darkness fearing failure, rejection and even success and that shame continues to reenact itself in their lives. An abused person will frequently develop a relationship with an abuser. A person raised in a home where there are addictions will often develop relationships with people who are in the clutches of addictions. There is a spirit that develops in the heart of the shamed that draws them to like spirits. It becomes a prison that only God can set truly you free from.
Some become manipulative and compulsively obsessive and control freaks for they dare not let anyone else be, in control for fear of shame. This shame will sometimes cover itself through addictions (eating disorders, drugs, gossip, rage, etc.) The person living in this prison will often shame others. Why? The old saying, “misery loves company” could readily apply. By tearing down others it falsely makes them feel better about themselves saying, ‘see I’m not the only one.’
HOW DO WE DEAL SHAME?
- The shame we are responsible for we take to the Cross.
- The shame given to others we go to the Cross but we also ask forgiveness and take the shame back.
This shame is more difficult for we must accept our responsibility in receiving it. In this condition we find it difficult to believe in the TOTAL redeeming power of God for we are flawed. What we must come to understand is that JESUS bore that shame on the Cross taking our flaws and remaking us. We need to ‘give it back’. But to whom do we give it? Not the one who shamed us for that would be shaming them. We give it back to the originator of it, the devil. We forgive those who shamed us and release them, then we give back the shame to the devil and confess the Lordship of Jesus and that we are NEW CREATIONS in Him and not the person of that shame!
You can be free! May God be with you as you go through your day!