As a type 1 Enneagram (the perfectionist), shame at times seems inescapable. Grace is something that us type 1s don’t normally believe exists, and if it does, it’s not for us. My inner critic torments me for weeks, months, and even years for a mistake I made, whether minuscule or substantial. It doesn’t seem to care about what the truth is in the matter, all it cares about is the fact that I made a mistake which, to it, is condemnable and strips me of my righteousness.
The Lord in the past few weeks has been repeatedly bringing up the area of my life in which I have felt the most shame. Before He brought it up, I had genuinely thought it was something that I had complete healing and freedom in, but I’m realizing now that that wasn’t even remotely the case.
I recently spent some time with the Lord asking Him to reveal to me where He was amidst each of these situations causing me to feel shame. He showed me Himself in the midst of each situation and reminded me that never once has He left my side, even when I had completely abandoned Him for self-gratifying and sinful desires and even when it was other people who caused me to feel shame in that moment.
While spending time processing with the Lord tonight, He led me to Ephesians 4:22-24 which says
“…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
He also led me to Ephesians 5:8 which says
“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.”
Shame cannot coexist with the cross. Because of the cross, there is new life for us, there is righteousness, and there is holiness, which doesn’t lessen due to mistakes and amidst shortcomings.
As I was spending time in the Word earlier, the Lord spoke so sweetly over me and said “My grace is so much bigger for you than you know. Walk in it confidently knowing this.” This is something that I’ve struggled to believe my entire life and still struggle with to this day, but the Word says “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
As the Psalmist says “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). Our sins are removed so far that the distance is incalculable. We must confess our sins and repent from them, but we also must remember the grace that is readily available for us at all times and runs so much deeper for us than we could finitely comprehend.
In order to walk in freedom from shame, we must first recognize the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt is from the Lord. Shame is a demonic spirit which places us in bondage. Guilt simply tells us that we did something wrong. Shame tells us that since we did something wrong, we are unrighteous and deserve punishment. But, the Gospel tells us otherwise. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” And Romans 3:25 says “Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty (punishment) for our sins.”
Shame is a spirit that many of us haven’t cut off from our lives. We often walk in a shame that we don’t even know we’re walking in. So today, I challenge you to go before the Lord and ask Him to reveal any areas of your life that shame seems to be hiding in. Ask Him to bring it to the light and cut off ties with it by laying it at His feet.
We must remind ourselves that to walk in shame is to give the enemy a foothold that he doesn’t deserve to have. Jesus destroyed our shame the moment He took up the cross. He covered it completely with His blood. He didn’t miss a single spot. We no longer need to walk in it. Be confident of that. He is well pleased with us at all times and His delight in us is never ending.
Let’s be a people who walk in freedom and cut off ties with anything or anyone who tells us we’re not free. We are a people who are holy, righteous, and blameless before the Lord. Let’s walk like it.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” / John 8:36