Prison of Shame
Y’all. We all struggle with it. Most of us have been motivated by it a time or two, and if we’re honest, we’ve used it to motivate others too. It’s a silent, dark prison many of us struggle to break free from. I’m talking about shame.
From its earliest appearance in the Garden of Eden, shame has been a manipulator to keep us from a relationship with God. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened, and they hid, covering themselves with fig leaves.–Shame.
When God called for Adam, he told God, “I was afraid because I was naked.”– Shame.
When God asked, “Who told you you were naked?” and “Have you eaten from the tree…?” Adam blamed God when he said, “The woman you put here with me…”–Shame.
Then he shifted the blame again to Eve, “She gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”–Shame.
Shame makes us leave our safe places and forces us into the lonely, desolate wilderness of condemnation. It tells us the only way to earn our way back in, is to perform, and perform perfectly. Shame makes us fearful of the people we trust and who love us well. It tells us we won’t be accepted if we admit our fault. Shame is a liar and the only way to defeat it is to step out of hiding. It’s a step of faith, for sure; but it is worth it. When we come out of hiding from the shame shadows, the light flooding us is the light of His unending, tender grace. It’s the warmth of His loving arms enveloping us and welcoming us back into relationship with him.
After I became a Christian in November 2016, my life radically changed. I once was an alcoholic adulterer who lied because it was convenient, stole because it was easy. All the while, I professed to be a “Christ follower.”
Romans 5:8 says, “But God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Did you catch that?
“WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS…”
While I drank, cheated, lied, stole, and cursed His name, I was STILL loved. Loved enough to be worthy of dying for.While I drank, cheated, lied, stole, and cursed His name, I was STILL loved. Loved enough to be worthy of dying for. - Lisa Williams Click To Tweet
Y’all, that verse changed my life.
Christ changed my life.
I was gripped and defined by fear and shame over my past. I worked tirelessly to conceal every disgusting act of rebellion.
Y’all, He redeemed my life from the pit I dug with the shovel I crafted with my own two hands. He forgave me and saved me. He washed me clean. Me, the one who runs a close second to Paul for “Chief of All Sinners!” Christ took my shame with Him to the cross and declared victory over it.
Shame says, “Hide so you won’t be judged.” Conviction says, “Come out of hiding and be healed.”
Shame is often confused with conviction. Shame says, “Hide so you won’t be judged.” Conviction says, “Come out of hiding and be healed.” -Lisa Williams Click To Tweet
Some of us carry shame because of what we’ve done and some of us carry it because of what’s been done to us.
The shame of:
- being abused as a child.
- not living up to expectations others set for us.
- choices we’ve made.
- abuse we’ve inflicted upon others.
Whichever camp your shame manifested, Christ died for all of it!
He died for the child molester and the molested child.
Jesus died for the alcoholic husband and the family he abandoned.
He bore all the shame of the offenders and all the shame of the offended.
If you’re carrying around shame: Repent.
Come out of hiding into the light and be set free!
God didn’t let Adam and Eve stay hidden in shame behind their fig leaves. He called them into the light, corrected and disciplined them, then made coverings of animal skin for them. The coverings God made for them required the shedding of blood. God doesn’t want us to stay hidden either. He prepared a permanent covering for us through the shedding of His son’s blood.
Let’s live like we’ve been set free, because, y’all, we’ve been set free! Bye shame! Hello Freedom!
To God be ALL the glory in everything!
How have you lived in the prison of shame? How can we help you find freedom through Christ to unlock that cell door?
About the Author
Lisa is a redeemed, restored, reconciled daughter of the One True King! Born and raised in East Texas, she moved to Dallas seven years ago where she lives with her two dogs, Hebert and Hannah.
Adopted at two days old, God miraculously allowed Lisa to find her birth family after surrendering her life to Christ two years ago. She has since reunited with her birth mother, sister, and many relatives! Evidence of God’s faithfulness has been present every step of her journey.
Lisa serves as a lay leader in her church’s recovery ministry, where she first began her fearless pursuit of Christ. Passionate about sharing what God has done in her life, she gets to shepherd other women seeking the same healing and freedom God has freely given her.
She loves her family, yoga, hiking, animals and the ocean. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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