This may be the most difficult topic I’ve ever had to face. It’s the topic I’ve hidden from. It’s the topic I’ve hidden from God. It’s the topic I’ve not wanted to discuss. It’s the topic that I would guess you don’t want to ponder either. It’s the topic with symptoms I can’t even always recognize.
The topic - is Shame
One definition from the Encarta Dictionary: English (North America) says that shame
is a painful emotion resulting from awareness of having done something dishonorable,
unworthy, degrading, etc.
Shame is a deep sense of humiliation and embarrassment.
Believing one’s name may fall into disrepute, or be discredited, only serves to
bring on more shame.
This shame that comes could be real, or it could be imagined.
It really does not matter. The effects are the same.
Shame may even turn into something pathological, which is defined
as “extreme or unreasonable”.
Shame is the antonym of innocence.
It changes who you were meant to be.
Know this about Shame;
It is an attack from the enemy of your soul!
To keep you away from God’s design for you!
You didn’t do anything wrong!
Someone else did!
It was not your fault! Shame is different from guilt, in that to be guilty one has to have done an action on their
own of their own volition.
Guilt generally comes from a sense of responsibility for knowingly doing wrong.
Often there is remorse for some offense, crime, wrong, etc., whether real or Imagined.
Guilt is synonymous with criminality.
The wrong-doer is the perpetrator!
They were in control of the situation!
There was nothing you could do!
Someone else is the criminal here!
You can cry out to God for Justice and Restoration!
Citing the article, “SHAME STEPS OUT OF HIDING AND INTO SHARPER FOCUS” By Daniel Goleman
The New York Times, September 15, 1987, Psychologists have determined the following;
·Shame is emerging, in the view of some, as a “master emotion” that influences all the others.
Its development is being traced back through childhood and its role in a wide range of human
experience, from spurring the greatest of accomplishments to the bitterest of marital fights,
is newly appreciated.
·“Shame is a master emotion, regulating the expression of other feelings,” said Thomas Scheff,
a sociologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara,
·“Whenever shame enters the picture, we inhibit the free expression of emotion, with the
exception of anger,” said Dr. Scheff, who studies the sociology of emotions.
·Unlike other emotions, which tend to pass with time or with a catharsis like weeping, “shame
is the emotion most difficult to admit and to discharge,” Dr. Scheff said.
·Further, shame is the most private of emotions. “Shame may be one of the only emotions for
which no facial expression has evolved,” said Dr. Paul Ekman a psychologist at the University of
California at San Francisco who is an expert on facial expression. “Of course, in shame you do
not want to signal your state. Turning away or hiding the face in some way are the only objective
signs of shame.”
You get the idea.
It is simply too painful to admit.
It stays hidden inside and continues to decay our souls.
If shame is something you suffer from,
I would like to give you a couple of suggestions.
Simply a place to begin, a starting point;
*Ask God to help you, by His Spirit, to search your heart.
*Tell Him all about what you are hiding inside.
*Is there just one person you can confide in?
-Maybe not the entire story, but just a sliver?
-Exposing this shame will absolutely RUIN its power over you.
*Maybe you just can’t tell anyone, however, can you write it down?
-Then give the offense to God?
-Getting this sense of shame out of your head will help to make
shame leave your heart. Oh boy! I know what I’m suggesting is extremely difficult,
However, I also know that God has so much for in store for you.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV1984) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
You can trust Him with your heart.
The whole story or just a sliver.
Wherever you are able to start.
Whatever you can give Him.
Justice for you, restoration for your soul.
Be courageous! I know you can do this,
Your peace of mind depends on it.
Thank you for writing about this. It is so true how shame cripples and is definitely from the enemy. He is so faithful and loving if we just open up, but so many people are in bondage. This post is a good reminder to be praying for the people we love and those struggling.
Thanks for reading Joy. I believe we will continue to struggle with this topic in this life. Our world is just set up to put people to shame for everything and anything. The bright spot is that with His light exposing shame, we do not need to carry the weight of it. Hallelujah!