My friend and I were driving around yesterday, discussing an experience she had where she was encouraged to express any reoccurring labels of shame she had throughout her life. I thought about what an interesting thing that was, to speak out the very things we feel shame about or wrongly believe about ourselves. As I started to reflect more on that exercise, I became more curious about any shame I have been holding onto.
Shame is something that can tear us up inside and make us feel unlovable, ugly and broken. Many of us secretly hold labels of shame within our hearts, often not even realizing it until they burst out the seams through an insecurity or fear. Examples of these labels of shame could be believing that we can never stay committed, we are too far gone, no one will love us when they learn about our past or we have always been a terrible friend. I believe we need to begin examining our hearts and asking God to reveal and heal any ounce of shame we have been carrying, because we were never meant to carry shame.
Jesus died for us so that we may be free of slavery to sin, free of death and free of shame. We didn’t deserve it, but He died for us anyway – He qualified us. If we are in relationship with Him and are striving to live a life that is pleasing to Him, why are we still carrying around shame? He may convict us of sin, but He does not condemn us because of our sin. This is because of His love and grace.
Friends, if we are in Christ, we have so much to be joyful about. The moment we confess our sins to Him, everything in our past is erased – including the very things that inspired the labels of shame we have carried. His grace flows like a river, washing away all of our insecurities, past sins and failures. In Him, we are a new creation, full of amazing opportunities and possibilities because He is with us. Once we accept that, we can let those labels of shame roll right off of us because they refer to the old us, not the new us.
Today, let yourself dwell in the goodness and grace of God and reflect on His thoughts about you. They are good thoughts, my friend. If He isn’t going through the archives of all of your wrongdoings, why should you? Embrace His grace, let go of your shame and just be the fresh, new creation He has made you to be.