Shame is tricky. I look around our society today and I think, “They oughtta be ashamed.” (And yes, I use the exact same tone and southern drawl that my grandmother and mother used.) We’ve got pants on the ground, or my gosh Miley Cyrus not wearing any pants and I think, “Where’s the shame?”
I can remember as a child being ashamed. And it usually happened the second I made the wrong decision and was then compounded when my mother would say to me, “You oughtta be ashamed.” And you know what? Sometimes a little shame does a child some good.
But there’s another side to shame. It’s the evil, enemy-driven side. It’s the side that says, “You’ve messed up so bad no one will forget it or forgive you,” or even worse – “Jesus will never forget it or forgive you.” Shame can squash a person’s spirit way past the point of embarrassment. Shame brought on by the enemy can destroy your future because the enemy will constantly throw your past mistakes at you like darts hitting a target. And you feel the sting of every single shameful event in your life, unless…
Unless you confess your mistakes to Jesus and truly accept His forgiveness. (Easier said than done, I know.) But read these words from Hebrews and let them really sink in: “For I will forgive there wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12). Gone. Forgotten. And Paul shares with us the added blessing: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14) Through Jesus God brings us out of the enemy’s dark world and places us in Jesus’ kingdom! THAT’S REALLY AWESOME, PEOPLE!
And once you experience true forgiveness in your spirit you then need to see yourself as Jesus sees you, not as the enemy sees you and wants you to see yourself. “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation…” (Colossians 1:22) Holy. No blemishes. Not one single accusation. That’s even more awesome, don’t you think?
When you look in the mirror today, let go of the shame. Ask for forgiveness. Accept that forgiveness. Then see yourself as Jesus sees you – a winner, a giver, beautiful, successful – but most importantly see yourself as a child of God, not a servant to the enemy.