I think shame is one of the devil’s favorite strategies and things he uses to torment our minds with. It’s a form of condemnation. I not only find non-believers living with the shame of their past, but also see Christians doing the same. People are carrying the weight of shame with them – shame of their divorce, losing their business, going bankrupt, their sinful past, rape, abuse and the shame that came with it.
What does shame mean? It is the humiliation, embarrassment, discomfort, disappointment and indignity of our past.
I came across this poem that describes it really well;
You wear it like a cloak
It covers like warmth only unwanted
Waking with you
Like light only dark
It causes you to despise all you are like a stain on white sheets
Exposing you to yourself
You wear it like shoes
With you throughout the day
Wondering if others can see
You feel it like pain
Guilt and sorrow
It marks you like dirt
Ruining all that you hold
Leaving you unwanted, to yourself
You wear it like a coat
Sliding into it arm by arm
It engulfs you, swallows you up
You know it like self
You hate it just the same
It causes you to give into it
Leads you to sadness
Calls you from regret
Abandoning you, to yourself
It is a heavy burden we do not like to talk about. We would rather cover it up or try and forget instead! The devil loves creeping up and reminding us of our past through our thoughts, memories, feelings, even through people from time to time.
Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured the cross and despised the shame, and has now sat down at the right hand of God.
Jesus despised shame on the Cross. Despised means He aborted, abominated and hated shame! He hated it so much because it was something that would separate us from being close to Him and receiving all that He has done for us. Shame also keeps us quiet, stopping us from speaking up about His Grace. Jesus paid the price for our shame as well as our sin. We don’t have to be shameful of our sin, mistakes, shortcomings, hurt, pain or past anymore!
Will YOU let go and allow Grace to take over? There is a difference between liking and listening to Grace, and actually experiencing Grace and living out of His Grace in our lives each day. We need to allow Jesus to have access into those areas of shame and sin, and that means letting go so His grace can flow in those areas.
Shame clogs and fogs the flow of Jesus in our lives; it puts a blockage in the way for us not to receive and be close to Him. But through His word, partaking of communion and anointing oil, we can unclog that blockage so that His grace can flow into this area. They work like ‘uncloggers’ as they remind us of our standing in Jesus – righteous, loved, accepted and forgiven!
I believe the devil is a liar and a deceiver, and he will creep up from time to time in our weakness and bring on the shame and guilt of our past. But when you partake and anoint in the spirit of faith, something happens to your mind and your focus. It shifts from you and your issues on to JESUS and who you are in Christ! This is where His Grace and favor flows effortlessly.
Being set free from shame is just like healing and forgiveness; it’s our blood-bought right! We need to believe and declare it!
And they have overcome (conquered) by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony.
For our past to become a testimony, we need to let go and receive the blood of what Jesus has already done. We need to declare it, speak it, share it and give God the glory. It doesn’t become about us anymore but it’s all about JESUS! Look at the bible – it’s a book on real life, real testimonies about Jesus! It is through Jesus that your past becomes your testimony. The ugly, the hurtful, the pain, the suffering wasn’t for nothing, God CAN turn it into a testimony! Often when we share our testimony, it can be more potent than a teaching with some smart ideas and principles. Real-life is what people want and what people need and can often relate to.
All the bad things that have happened in your life are not from Him. Sometimes we can blame God and get angry with Him! But the truth is we live in a fallen world and we need to understand that. We need to remember He is with us, He loves and cares about us. HE will carry us through every trial or valley, and He will never leave us or forsake us. He will work it out for our good and turn it into a beautiful testimony of Grace.
When Josh and I lost our first baby, we could not understand why this happened to us. But all I know is that His grace sustained us and His peace carried us. We learnt not to focus on the fact that our baby got sick, and that we never got to meet him, but to focus on JESUS!
The focus shifts from you and your loss to Him and His grace. And when you focus on Him, healing and restoration will be there through Jesus!
Don’t let shame keep you weighed down and silent anymore. In receiving Jesus and partaking in communion and the anointing oil, it reminds us that we are set free.
When we trust in the finished work of Jesus on the Cross by faith; for healing, provision and breakthrough, it is immediately done even though we may not see the manifestation straight away. I believe the same applies to our past – we are healed and made whole from our past, but sometimes we don’t feel it straight away. Communion and oil deal with the root. We may not see the manifestation of it straight away, but the root has been sorted. We are to rest in Him, and remember it and speak it out daily. When Jesus rebuked and cast down the fig tree, He spoke to the root; He prayed to the root, and the tree only died or fell over a day or so later.
When I first shared my testimony, I only then realized ‘wow, I am free of those things and those labels that held me back for so long’. I felt like celebrating but the truth is I had been set free a long time ago but didn’t see it in fullness until then.
Speak the word of God over yourself. Declare you are righteous by partaking and putting your faith in His anointing and Grace. Share your testimony, do not let the devil silence you! YOUR story matters, YOU matter! Shame and condemnation are not your portion anymore, in Jesus name!