How to Deal with Shame as a Christian Title Image

How to Deal with Shame as a Christian

house Annie Hutchison Apr 2, 2024

Did you know when you suffer from shame, you are also statistically more likely to be chronically depressed?

Shame is a painful feeling that invokes a sense of being inadequate or wrong.

Throughout my life, I have had to battle against the thoughts, “not good enough… never can fix the damage you’ve done… always a loser… always wrong.”

I remember countless nights of being unable to fall asleep because I was reliving all the mistakes I had made that day, all the sins I had committed, and all of my poor decisions I had made. My mind would reel with memories of my sinful actions and feelings of being utterly unlovable and unworthy of ever being loved again would envelop me.

I don’t think I understood it at the time, but I was a slave to shame. Satan had me so convinced that I was the one person Christ’s sacrifice couldn’t save that I would lash out and make even more terrible choices, only to feel riddled with guilt, shame and condemnation.

I remember listening to a sermon about the lies we believe and how important it is to take every thought captive (2 Cor. 10:5). Despite being raised in the church, this idea was fresh for me. Until that point, I had believed that the thoughts I had running through my mind were as uncontrollable as dreams and that I had no power over the negative, critical, shaming voice accusing me non-stop.

In that sermon, the pastor asked: “What lies are you believing today?”

As a Christian, we know that a lie is anything that doesn’t align with the truth of God’s word. So if you are believing that you are worthless, we can rest assured that this is a total lie.

The Bible tells us that we are of great value to God and that he loves us passionately (Matthew 10:29-30, Romans 5:8, 1 John 3:1).

So how do you learn what the lies you believe are and how do you overcome them?

Philippians 4:8 gives us a clue about this. It says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”

This verse is not saying, go out and find things that are honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise. In short, this verse is listing the characteristics of Christ and telling you to fix your thoughts on him. When our thoughts are fixed on the personhood and work of Christ, shame begins to lose all power.

Jesus died to give you his royal robes of righteousness. You have been made right with God because of what he did. So your poor choices, your sins, your critical thoughts cannot separate you from God’s love because it’s not contingent upon your behavior. It all depends on your belief in Christ.

Christ lived a perfect life and died a sinner’s death so that you could know without a shadow of doubt that you are loved beyond measure, found worthy of the ultimate sacrifice, and being perfected each and every day. Because of Christ, you can let go of the past and run the race set before you (Philippians 3:13-14).

When Satan begins to flood your mind with thoughts and feelings of shame, remember this:

God says, “For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12

Because of what Christ did for us, God himself forgets our sins. This means that we don’t have to dwell on our sins all night long anymore. We are able to take our past mistakes, our shame, and our condemnation and cover them in the blood of Christ. .

What is the Antidote to Shame?

  • Relationship with the Triune God. When we know God, we know how deep his love is and shame and condemnation have no place in our hearts when we are full of him.
  • Take every thought captive and measure them up against the Bible. Ask yourself, is this thought in alignment with God’s word? You’ll need to read the Bible and meditate on it to be able to easily spot the lies Satan wants you to believe.
  • Start speaking back the truth to the lies: replace the lies with God’s truth. I created this tool to help you!

May the Holy Spirit flood your mind with the heart of his truth today. May he lead you as you seek healing and restoration from the attacks Satan has waged on you, and may he clothe you in your spiritual armor so that you can stand strong against the schemes of the evil one.

Ephesians 6:10-18.

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