We all remember times when we fell and scraped our knees as children, and how painful it was. Many people think of healing only on the physical level that we can see, but it also occurs on the emotional level, where it’s even more important. When we’re hurting inside and ashamed of something we’ve done, this type of pain and suffering can be devastating. Shame made its debut when Adam and Eve sinned and hid from God; thankfully, Jesus has banished it completely.
Shame comes from a sense of failure caused by a consciousness of guilt or shortcoming. It’s a weapon the enemy uses to keep us tied to our past and to remind us of our mistakes. Jesus hates shame so much that He went to the cross to take it away forever. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
Shame is never okay. It suggests that there’s something wrong with us, and makes us feel like running away and hiding. Not only does it separate us from others, it makes us feel disconnected and separated from God. The cure for this is a strong faith in God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. “For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 10:11).
God has wonderful things in store for us. Being ashamed of something causes us to fearfully hang back in life instead of moving forward toward His plans for us. Life is too short for this negative emotion; being ashamed of anything isn’t God’s will for us. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). The enemy sends shame to steal the joy from our lives, but believers don’t have to tolerate it.
We are spirits living in physical bodies and possessing souls, which are where our emotions reside. God wants prosperity for us on every level, including the emotional level. To be in perfect emotional health is to be free from shame and guilt. “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth” (3 John 1:2). This allows us to experience God’s best.
Shame is a painful emotional sickness; it’s part of the curse of the law that Jesus shed His blood to remove from us. Under the covenant of grace that He established, faith in what He did frees us from shame. “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” (Romans 9:33). When we go through life feeling shamed by something that happened in the past, we’re needlessly putting ourselves back under the law.
Peace, joy, and emotional health are things Satan doesn’t want us to experience. However, Jesus has overcome him and all the guilt and shame he tries to lay on us. “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed” (Isaiah 50:6, 7). With God’s help, we can now move forward in life with clear consciences.
For more on how Jesus defeated shame, and how we can share in that same victory, click on the link below to find the three-message series, Defeating Shame, in our eStore.