A FRESH PERSPECTIVE
from the eyes of the young...
SHAME TO GLORY
Editors Note: This article was submitted by a 15 year old from the Outer Banks.
"Shame is prison as cruel as a grave. Shame is a robber and he's come to take my name." (Ain't No Grave - Molly Skaggs, Bethel Music)
Shame, in this culture, can be defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. Have you ever dealt with shame? I know for certain I have. I've grown up in a Christian family, went to church, etc. so you may think, "well how on earth have you dealt with shame?"
In my situation shame came in the form of never being perfect enough and all the mistakes I've made in the past. Shame is an identity factor. It attacks our identity. The Devil uses everything he can to shame you. He will use past mistakes (sin) and maybe even mistakes we are making right now to take you into a corner, isolate you, and then leave you there feeling useless. I was always under the lie that no one understands, no one cares, and if they see the real me, they would change their whole perspective of me, but that was far from the truth. One of my favorite things to read while I was walking through shame was "The feeling of guilt comes when we've acted wrongly or misbehaved, and it convicts us as 'I did something bad.' The feeling of shame comes when we feel embarrassed, and it attacks with the lie that says 'I am something bad.' Guilt focuses on the actions, shame focuses on the person." "We don't have to wait until we're at our breaking point to evaluate what's broken."
There are people who care. I didn't really realize this truth until one Sunday night. I poured my heart out to my youth leader's wife. She didn't try to comfort me. Instead, she looked my shame in the face and picked up the fight with me. Vulnerability is key to healing. Colossians 3:9-10 says Don't lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
You can't move on unless you can address the shame, the lie, etc. Something God spoke to me while I was walking through my season of shame was "When you verbalize what you're going through with other believers, you give up the fight on your own, and then others are fighting with you and for you." You may be the best listener and the best advice giver, but when you don't address your own issues you keep sinking into that pit the Devil keeps digging and digging. But thankfully, that's not where it ends. The answer to shame is an empty grave and you are not too far gone to be restored! That is why Jesus came to earth. He came for sinful people like you and me. Jesus was nailed to the cross with all the shame of the world. He took all our sins on the cross, died with them while God turned His back on His only son, and then rose again defeating sin and grave! Now I don't know about you but that is the best news I've ever heard.
Now let's try something. Ready?
I am not ___. Because of Christ I am ____.
I am not empty. Because of Christ I am full. Ephesians 2:10
I am not lost. Because of Christ I am found. Matthew 18:12-14
I am not a prisoner. Because of Christ I am free. Galatians 5:1
Because of Christ, I am here.
Make your own and remember them the next time the Devil tries to attack you.
The love of God is all I need and all you need. You can't find love and healing anywhere but his presence. Addressing shame is always hard, but once you have, you can literally breathe again. Trust me, I know. You got this. Keep on fighting.
Quotes: (Getting Rid of Shame, Toxic Influences, and Unforgiveness - Life.Church)
Photo Credit: Lynette Crews