God Does Not Do Shame
“Shame on you,” my grandmother said, as she shook her finger at me with a scowl on her face. I was about 9 years old, and those words cut to the core of my being, as I stood in her picture-perfect kitchen.
I do not remember what I did wrong, but I do remember being confused about even getting in trouble for whatever upset her. All I could think about was getting away from her so I could cry.
Our words carry power. What I remember was I had done something wrong in her eyes, and I just wanted to hide. I felt like a mistake and felt her intense displeasure with me. Now, I just wanted to go home.
I was feeling the power of shame. Shame says, “You are a mistake,” instead of, “You made a mistake. Let me help you.”
Shame makes people feel less than and devalued. Jesus paid a great price so we could be free from shame.
Whenever we have done something wrong, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin. His purpose is to bring us to repentance, not shame. In his great love, Jesus paid the price, so we do not have to live in shame.
Romans 10:11 (NIV) states, “For scripture says, anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
When we realize we have made a little mistake or a huge one, God’s heart is that we recognize it, ask his forgiveness and the forgiveness of others if necessary, and walk in freedom.
Ephesians 1:7 (NIV) tells us, “In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
Once we repent, we can walk free of shame. God sent Jesus to take care of shame for us. Yes, we may struggle to walk free of the feelings of disgrace, but in God’s eyes we are loved and accepted.
Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) instructs us, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
God’s grace and forgiveness are incredible gifts that each of us has an opportunity to enjoy. It begins with asking Jesus into our hearts, confessing our sin and believing he died for us and loves us.
Isaiah 61:7 (NIV) tells us, “Instead of your shame, you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace, you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.”
When we bring our shame to God, he gives us a double portion and joy.
So why do people try to put shame on others, when they have missed the mark and done something wrong? I think there are two reasons: judgment and pride. And both of them are not part of a Christian’s our job description.
Oftentimes people look at their sin and compare it to someone else and say, “I did this but I didn’t do something that bad.” Statements like this are rooted in judgment and pride.
Matthew 7: 1 & 2 (NIV) warns us, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged.”
Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
I had to forgive my grandmother for the hurtful words she said many years ago. I later found out she was a very wounded woman and because of her wounds and her own failures and shame, she projected that on me and others.
If you have shamed someone, I encourage you to ask for forgiveness. If you have been someone who has been on the receiving
end of shame, forgive your offender. I pray for healing for your heart and for any lies you have believed about being a mistake to be erased.
All of us mess up and can be embarrassed of our failures. Christ came to set us free, so get back up and walk in his grace and forgiveness. You do not have to walk in shame any longer. God sees you, loves you, forgives you and loves to restore the broken pieces of your life..