And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – Romans 5:5 (NIV)

Today, I will address a vital area of recovery – shame. Most of us struggle with shame on our road to getting better. If you don’t, please be aware that you may not yet be in touch with the many ways shame has its way in your life, and how it can hinder your motivation, openness and identity.

It may be the biggest barrier to fully accepting our identity as Christians. Most of us “pack shame away” in a variety of ways, but it still seeps through.

Shame keeps us from honestly and vulnerably sharing our lives, leaving our past behind, and accepting God’s identity for us.

Shame is different than guilt. Guilt is the fact of my behavior – I DID something bad. Shame, on the other hand is how we view ourselves – my worth before God and others – I AM bad.

No one wants to talk about it. Shame lives in the dark corners of our souls – lurking about like a cancer. Shame reveals itself in our insecurity, doubts, fears, and even in our pride. It usually begins as children and grows with us as adults. Shame is often Satan’s tool to keep us from living out the freedom of God’s identity in our lives. But shame has an enemy – Jesus.

For in Scripture it says: “ See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” – 1 Peter 2:6

The Scriptures are very clear that shame is not a good motivator for change! Trusting in Jesus is.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2

The enemies of the cross hurled accusations at Jesus to the very end. Jesus scorned those shameful insults and joyfully went to the cross for you. The cross is our ultimate evidence of the defeat of shame in our lives. Go to the cross when you sin. When you feel less than what God says you are. Linger at the cross when others try to shame you into change. Always run to the cross when you experience the temptation to give into shame!

Watch Brene’ Brown’s Ted Talk on shame.

Other Resources :

The church setting is the the perfect place for recovery. Learn how to set up a Disciples In Motion weekend visit with Tim. It includes many different opportunities for mental health trainings in the church setting. Click here for more information.