Guilt & Shame – Blog by Ps Sharon Kelly
Even as believers, guilt & shame can rob us of the life we were called to live. Within this blog you will find keys to help you unlock the chains of guilt & shame that keep you bound. The choices & steps you choose to take (that you can start today) are within your power.
Firstly, let’s have a look at what guilt & shame are & how they can outwork in our lives…
Guilt says – I did something bad & I live with the consequences
Shame says – I am bad. I am not good enough
Job 10:15 NIV
“If I am guilty—woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction.”
I want to focus predominantly on shame today, because this is something that holds a lot of us captive & stops us from living to our full potential.
Shame can work through:
- The way you were raised
Maybe for your parents nothing you did was ever good enough. This can get hardwired into your soul
- How we approach the world
We can continually attach who we are to what we do & get caught up in worrying what people think about us
We have a track that often plays through our heads when something goes wrong. What does your self-talk say to you? Negative self-talk can shut us down
You are more than enough. If negative self-talk, shame, guilt or sin from the past are keeping you bound you need to know that the Word of God is the game changer! There is also much power in taking your shame out of hiding & speaking to a pastor, a leader, or friend you trust who can point you in the right direction.
1 Peter 4:8 NIV
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
1 Peter 2:6b NIV
“…and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame.”
Dealing with Shame
1. Know you are saved by grace
The devil tries his hardest to make you believe that you don’t belong, that you don’t fit in – his mission is to steal, kill & destroy from you. You don’t have to prove your worth. The truth is that Jesus gave His life for YOU! The value of who you are is the price Jesus was willing to pay for you. He paid for you with His life.
John 8:2-12 NIV
“At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’ They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir,’ she said. ‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.’ When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'”
2. Stop beating yourself up
Your value is based upon the grace of God. There’s nothing you can do to earn it – the truth is that not one of us is good enough or deserving of God’s grace. That’s the beauty of grace – we don’t deserve it but God gives it to us freely.
Stop speaking words over yourself (self-talk) like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m a bad person”. It doesn’t matter to Jesus where you’ve come from, He’s more concerned with where you are going. Jesus paid the price already & liberated your life – it’s our responsibility now to stop beating ourselves up.
Rom 5:8 AMP
“But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
3. Go & live this life
God’s design for your life is that you would enjoy it, that you would make the most of it. Living under guilt & shame keeps you bound from living life to the fullest.
John 10:10 AMP
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].”
Choose to leave behind this life of sin. Start making choices that will be good for your life. Every choice you make today will have an impact on your tomorrow. Choose to live with eternity as your focus. If you are not a Christian yet, today is a good day to ask Jesus into your life & start living for Him.
Taking control of our self-talk & thought-life
If you’re anything like me, you wake every morning to your phone alarm, & then all of these things pop up that start wanting my attention – & none of them are the Bible! My inbox is showing me how many emails I have, I already have text messages & I have missed 8 hours of Facebook, Instagram & all other forms of social media, not to mention news & current events. Our phones can rule our world & not always in a positive way.
Reading & meditating on the Bible at the beginning of the day sets the tone for your day – even if it’s only for 5 minutes. I need help renewing my mind & I need the Word of God in my life so much more than I need Instagram or my TV!
There are lots of great Bible study & devotional aides available today. You can even download a Bible app that lets you listen to the Bible being read to you – a great tool if you drive to work (YouVersion). I personally love the First 5 app from Lysa TerKeurst because it causes me to focus on God & His Word before I do anything else.
If you struggle with guilt & shame don’t keep letting it dictate the perimeters of your life. If you need help, let your pastor, a leader or someone you trust know today.
Remember to set you alarms for midday to pray…
* for our political leaders & the up-coming election
* human trafficking – specifically that this would be uncovered in our local communities & the perpetrators be prosecuted