Don’t filter through all the reasons why your feelings of shame are earned. Reject it! Turn you back on it!
What’s The Fruit?
Is the shame producing a desire to improve in that area of your life?
Does it bring on the twin emotion of…What’s the use…why try?
Does shame encourage hope?
Does it give you a sense of greater courage?
A common phrase when a child is being scolded is, “Shame on you.” That rebuke is carried on into adulthood. That is, therefore, the reason that many people struggle with self-doubt, feelings of guilt, and inner reactions of worthlessness, or self-condemnation.
But There’s Hope For Greater Confidence
I was bemoaning something in prayer one day. I was in prayer so that’s a good thing, right? Well…not so much if moaning is the language of your prayer life. I said, “Lord, what’s wrong with me?” It seemed like a legitimate question. However, the Lord’s response was,
“I’m not going to talk to you about that.
Let’s talk about what’s right with you.”
At first, I didn’t think I actually heard the Lord’s response. I thought it was pop psychology seeping through the walls of my soul.
However, I’ve learned – through a lot of trial and error – the “sound” of the Lord’s voice. Those were His words to me.
My inner critic (my flesh) is well versed in the vocabulary of shame and takes every opportunity to block the encouraging words of the Lord.
The other day I was on the slippery slope of feeling shame about something. The Lord spoke to me – in the shower no less – and said, “That’s not productive. So, let’s move on. You’re not evil. You’re my son.”
I knew I wasn’t “evil” as we typically think of it. But, the flesh gets very wiley. If you look at the word evil when often used in scripture, it means depravity, corruption of heart, or disposition to commit wickedness. The emotion of shame takes me down that path. I feel ill of myself. Not well. Unsuitable.
Because of the freely imparted gift of grace, Jesus changed all that for me and gave me a new heart that is not evil. In fact my new heart always wants to be a partner with Jesus and produce the best fruit the Kingdom of God has to offer.
Here’s The Mental Challenge
As good earthly citizens of Western culture, we are micro wave in our expectations. We’ve been trained to look for the quick, easy fix. We’ve come to believe that if we finally discover how to do it right everything will fall into place in a big way right here and right now.
It doesn’t work that way in God’s Realm. The dominion of the Kingdom of God on earth is about “the seed.” Care for the garden. Plant the seed, and the garden will do the “heavy lifting” over the process of time designed for each unique seed.
Are you easily lured into the swamp of shame?
Is it productive?
Shall we stop submitting to the suggestions of the Evil One?
Instead, shall we take care of our grace garden and plant sonship seeds?