Romans 10:9-11 NKJV that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”
This week, as I spent some time reflecting on the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, I listened to “Worthy is your name” by Elevation worship. The first line of the second verse “and now my shame is gone” struck me. I paused for a moment to think of this whole issue of shame. Often we think of sin and how Christ’s death on the cross dismantled its power but what about shame?
Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior either by oneself or another. It is the feeling of being something wrong, being worthless. A loss of honor and respect. (Oxford and Cambridge dictionaries)
At the root of shame, is sin (evil acts of thought, word, or deed) which may have been committed by others against us or by us. Life and living exposes us to people, situations and circumstances that bring us shame. Sadly, some of us have suffered verbal, physical or sexual abuse, which resulted in feelings of worthlessness and being unworthy of true love. Rejection or betrayal may have made us feel dishonored, humiliated and shameful. For others, failures in our performance driven world have made us feel worthless and unable to keep up with the perceived standards of success and accomplishment. I remember feeling this way when a business I had was not financially successful and had to be closed. Or, perhaps we struggle with negative body image issues and difficulty accepting ourselves as God made us. In addition, our own sinful nature – sinful thoughts, desires and actions make us feel ashamed – that we fall short of God’s standards and can never be righteous.
Shame causes us to change our posture. It robs us of confidence and the ability to fulfill God given destiny. It robs us of intimacy. Afraid that others will see who we truly are we bow our heads, crouch and hide. We even hide from God. Shame, if not dealt with, can lead to deep rooted self hatred, wrong decisions, negative patterns or addictions. God had a great destiny for Adam and Eve, but satan’s deception and sin made them ashamed. They covered themselves and hid, losing intimacy with God and disconnecting from their true purpose.
My friends, the good news of the gospel is that the Father loves us so much that He sent His son to die that we would no longer be ashamed. However shame comes about, its source is sin and Christ died once and for all to deal with sin. He carried our sufferings, sin and shame to the cross, crucified it there and buried it in the grave. Then He rose so that we too might rise up as new ‘shameless’ creations, in the fullness of His new identity for us! He came to change our posture and to lift up our heads! He crowns us with glory, honor and victory. Not shame!
Psalm 8: 3-5 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. Ps 149:4 For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.
What are the things that have caused you to be ashamed? If you are constantly struggling with feelings of shame, bring it before our great God. He loves you and wants to save, heal and restore you. Your identity, sufficiency and competency have been rightly restored in the image of Christ by his death and resurrection.
Prayer: Lord you died that I might be found in you. I believe that your death and resurrection are for my salvation and deliverance. I accept your gift of love, salvation and forgiveness. Sin and shame were nailed to the cross and have no power over me! Heal me, restore me and remove every feeling of shame. I want to walk in the newness of your love and in the light of your glory. Amen!
Worship with us! Listen to this Easter song ‘Found at the cross’. “You lifted my head, Your blood was shed. I’ll follow Your voice and kneel at the cross. Freed me from guilt, healed me from sin, I’m no longer lost I’m found at Your cross!”
By Carol Hull-Jackson