💥 “SHAME ON YOU!” 💥 Killer Words!
Shame is one of those emotions that everyone carries inside at one time or another, and no one likes to talk about it.
It’s the fear that, if we were to be fully known and fully seen, we would find ourselves, judged, separated, banished and without relationship.
Shame tries to justify secrecy, whispering in our ear that no one is hurt by what they don’t know. Brené Brown describes shame as the voice in our head that says, “Never good enough!” and “Who do you think you are?”
We hide the parts of ourselves we are ashamed of out of a desire for self-protection. But the result is a sour and festering toxicity to our souls and to our deepest relationships.
As a Pastoral counselor, a minister and individual who has had to fight much shame from past sorrows, I have seen shame take many forms.
Shame has been for many individuals, the catalyst of addictions and eating disorders, the root of social anxiety, and the unexplained “elephant in the room” when everyone stops talking.
EXAMPLE: Someone humiliates a child or spouse or name calls someone. The room either goes frosty cold, or everyone deflects the pain and overcompensates by cracking a joke or leaves the table to clear dishes and the air!
I’ve also seen shame convince faithful Christians that they are not actually humble believers.
EXAMPLE: “If I truly believed Jesus died for my sins like I say I do, I wouldn’t feel this shame any longer, so I must be all talk and not a real believer.”
A good and fair response to this is, that shame needs to be addressed vertically (with God) and horizontally (with people).
God uses the people around us to encourage, strengthen, challenge, and grow us, and my experience has been that God also uses people to free us from shame.
Letting go of shame is so important because shame leads us only to destructive places.
“Shamers” hope to isolate you, punish you and whisper about your imperfections. Their “justified hissing” of unkindnesses and sarcastic judgments about your character can bring you to anguish and tears.
Shamers usually don’t want resolve, they want you to grovel and suffer.
This is not God’s plan. He has strong words for those who use shame as a weapon!
“Repent, of this wickedness of heart you have, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you,” Acts 8:22.
🔘 Shame keeps us focused on how bad we feel about ourselves, and then we are less aware and open to others.
🔘 Shame keeps us paralyzed because it is based in the belief that we are hopelessly beyond help and must “pay up” by being punished.
🔘 Shame pushes us to isolate because we feel way too exposed.
🔘 Shame feels so terrible that it opens the door to rage. We cannot stand to feel so terrible so we lash out at ourselves and we lash out at others.
When hard times come, feelings of shame often surface — feelings of being worthless and unlovable.
But friend! We CAN let these feelings go!
They do NOT belong to us.
We are valued. We are loved.
There are those who see the kind, forgiving and still growing YOU! There ARE Voices of encouragement and voices of those who speak truth in love, knowing the day may come that they will need the same grace shown to them.
Shamers take the easy road and project guilt, blame, point fingers.
This is not God’s way.
“Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to cast a stone,“ John 8:7.
If you have ever stepped out to share something that you are ashamed of or are in deep anguish about, only to have people respond with judgment and exclusion, you will know exactly what I mean.
Passive-aggressive speech and shaming behaviors are cowardly ways of avoiding conflict. By pretending to be “pleasant” while inwardly seething with resentment, we fool ourselves into thinking we are peacemakers practicing self-control.
In truth, we are communicating contempt and disapproval without having the courage to openly say so. An ancient Chinese proverb defines passive-aggression like this: “Behind the smile, a hidden knife!”
Social media has turned passive-aggression and shaming into an art form. We all know what it means when we are “unfriended,” “unfollowed,” or blocked.
Some find it easier to vent their frustrations on social media than have a private conversation with someone who has offended them.
However, what begins as passive-aggression can quickly mushroom into online bullying and shaming.
The Internet and the abundance of smartphones have created dozens of ways for passive-aggressive people to exact revenge from behind the relative safety of a screen.
Whether spoken, acted, or typed, passive-aggressive and shaming responses are harmful and dishonest. We are pretending to be unoffended while secretly planning ways to get even.
The good news for Christians is that our faith can offer us courage in these moments. We can cling tightly to our belief that Christ has, in fact, washed us clean, that He has made us worthy and deserving of relationship, and that He chooses us fresh and forgiven each moment of the day.
From His generous love, we can build the courage it requires to step out in vulnerability. Our beliefs and convictions as Christians can open the door for relational experiences with one another that then draw us back even closer to our Creator and kind King.
Each time we reveal our brokenness to another person and he or she responds with grace and relationship, we see a reflection of God’s love.
When you don’t know what to do…
..Let go of shame, embrace Grace and show Mercy.
You are then at peace, even though storms and sorrows may rage around you.
“For all of us have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God,” Romans 3:23.
In His Shadow,
~ Mary Lindow ©
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Mary Lindow has a passion for encouraging others – all generations, careers or vocations to live expressing excellence through personal integrity, healthy accountability, and wise management of talents and skills. She’s a sought after keynote, inspirational, humorous speaker and teacher across the U.S.A and internationally in Ministers & Spiritual leaders Conferences, and training seminars for various organizations.