Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame. Romans 10:11 NIV
As I child, I heard it from parents and grandparents.
“Shame, shame, shame,” one of my parents…or more likely one of my grandparents…might say. If they did, it meant I had broken one of their rules or behaved in a way they deemed inappropriate. Even as a young child, which is when I normally heard this, I knew what it meant.
As I got older, the three words didn’t bring the same response as they had when I was younger and wanted to please everyone. The larger problem related to God’s rules, which my parents’ and grandparents’ rules supposedly mimicked. If I broke their rules, I was guilty of infringing upon God’s principles.
But I also experienced another type of shame: shame over my body. To say the least, I hated it. Skinny. Bony. And if that wasn’t enough, I had to get ugly glasses while in elementary school. Other classmates made fun of my shape, and I certainly wasn’t one they wanted on their team in Physical Education class when we played basketball or dodgeball.
Paul says anyone who believes in Christ should never be put to shame.
Shame comes in two varieties: misplaced and rightly placed. One bad, the other good. If I do the opposite of what Paul says, I experience misplaced shame. I should never be ashamed of who I am in Christ. Nor should I ever refrain from telling others through my actions and words that I belong to Him. Hiding who I am because I don’t want others to make fun of me or persecute me leads to misplaced shame.
Misplaced shame also shows up when I try to improve on how God made me and who He made me to be. He gave me my body and my personality. What others think is, on one hand, important, but on the other hand, not so important. I’m here to please God, not others. When I fail to accept that, along with the gifts God has given me, I feel shame when I shouldn’t.
Rightly placed shame entails recognizing I am what the Bible says: a sinner in need of forgiveness. I should feel ashamed that I’ve failed God. The good news is that God made a way out of that shame. Through believing in His Son, I can experience forgiveness and release from condemnation, knowing Christ has paid for all my sins. Daily confession of my failures and sins keeps me on good terms with God.
Satan wants us to continually beat ourselves up, making us think we are no good, getting us to think God can never use us. If he convinces us, we’re defeated, and God won’t be able to use us. Because of misplaced shame.
Don’t let the wrong type of shame lead you to a life of misery. Experience God’s forgiveness and enjoy being the person He created you to be.
Prayer: Father, thank You for making it possible for us to live without shame.
Tweetable: Are you living with shame?
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