Ain't No Shame In My Game!
A sense of shame is one of the most toxic emotions we can experience. Modern medical understanding of addictions and compulsivity tell us that our drivenness is often an effort to escape from or compensate for a profound sense of shame and inadequacy. Because of past addictions and the resultant behaviors that stemmed from them I was very familiar with this sense of shame. Even after I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior I struggled with feelings of inadequacy an unworthiness that contributed to me putting a ceiling on the blessings and purpose God had for my life. When I submitted to God’s process of sanctification and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life He delivered from the sense of shame. I now know I’m not what I did, I am who God says I am!
What is the shame that can envelop us and paralyze us?
We may feel shame about our entrancement from God.
We may feel shame about our inability to pull in the reins on addictive or compulsive behaviors.
We may feel ashamed for the damage we have afflicted on others through our life-styles.
We may carry shame about the dysfunction of our childhood families.
What is shame?
Shame is a deep-seated feeling that something is wrong with us. We feel inadequate and unworthy and develop a shame-based personality that keeps us from attaining the potential God intended for our lives.
“Shame is what many people feel when they recall past events. This spirit causes painful emotions – a strong sense of guilt, embarrassment, unworthiness and disgrace. Individuals plagued by the spirit of shame walk through life as emotional puppets. They are easily manipulated and often use manipulative tactics toget people to do what they want. People harassed by shame also struggle with feelings of unworthiness and poor self-image. Shame is a master spirit in that it consumes our entire lives. It produces an internal feeling that we are grossly and unbearably flawed as a person. These feelings impede the maximization of potential and the fulfillment of God’s purpose in our lives” – (Cindy Trimm “The Rules of Engagement”).
Shame originated in the Garden of Eden. Before Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16,17) they lived free from shame – naked and open to God (Genesis 2:25). After their willful disobedience they tried to cover their shame with fig leaves knowing full well that God could see through their façade (Genesis 3:10,11). Now before we judge Adam and Eve don’t we cover our shame in the same way? We use relationships, addictions, religion, prestige, worldly achievement, money, acclaim from other people and an assortment of other devices to cover that gnawing sense of inadequacy that stems from a shame-based personality.
1. Accept God’s forgiveness for your sins and shame. Jesus not only died for our sins but He bore the shame and reproach associated with them. (Isaiah 54:4) “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore”.
2. Learn to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and sins. When we refuse to forgive ourselves for past mistakes we lock ourselves in a self-imposed prison and become slaves to condemnation. Free yourself by forgiving yourself! (Romans 8:1) ”There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit”.
3. Share your testimony. A very powerful way of disarming shame is to share our testimonies openly with selected persons. The very shame we try to hide is exactly what someone else needs to hear for their deliverance. (Revelation 12:11) “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death”.
In the past I used the colloquialism “ain’t no shame in my game” to cover the guilt I felt when I knew I had violated one or several of God’s standards and laws. Now I use it to remind the enemy and everyone else that everything that happened in my past prepared me for God’s purpose in my life for today. (Genesis 50:20)
“But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive”. (Romans 8:28) “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose”.
Alfred T. Long Sr. is the Author of “Grasping at the Wind” a book that describes his battles with addiction and God’s plan of deliverance. To contact him for speaking engagements or workshops visit http://www.jacobslm.com or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.