Posted by: Art Heinz | March 8, 2010

The Shame Game – Part 1

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, NIV). “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:5, NIV). “Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs” (Isaiah 61:7, NIV).

Shame is one of the most powerful and influential emotions in the life of the believer. Shame is a painful feeling from consciousness of something we have done that is dishonorable, improper, or disgraceful. When we violate God’s law we should feel guilty and ashamed up until the point that we confess that sin and repent of it (although many today in the Church, like the world, seem to have no sense of shame whatsoever regarding their behavior and life choices).

The enemy is a master with the weapon of shame in the believer’s life. He works hard to accuse us over our past sins and mistakes to keep us focused on the failures of the past rather than the potential of the future. He also works hard (especially in our time) to try to shame (with the help of the religiously correct police) the believer for having the audacity to believe that they can be, do, and have what the Bible says they can be, do, and have. Both applications of shame by the enemy are powerful and both need to be excised from our lives. Today I want to talk about the enemy’s attempt to continue to shame us over our past sins and mistakes.

When we continue to feel ashamed, guilty, and condemned long after we have confessed and repented of the sin it is a sign that the enemy is playing the shame game with us. During those times we need to remind ourselves about the powerful gift of righteousness given to us at the new birth. Righteousness is the God-given ability to stand in the presence of a holy God without a sense of condemnation, inferiority, guilt, or SHAME. Righteousness and shame will always be in conflict with other. When you sense that shame trying to come on you again, reject it and remind yourself by speaking it out loud, “I am the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ.”

Shame is extremely detrimental to the believer. Consider the following consequences of a “shame” consciousness:

  • Shame undermines our confidence in God and His Word (shame is not faith)
  • Shame shuts down our confession of faith and our boldness (we become intimidated)
  • Shame tries to control the agenda in our lives through (manipulative and overbearing)
  • Shame robs us or our joy, peace, and enthusiasm in life (dominates our thinking)
  • Shame makes it very difficult for us to receive from God (we feel condemned and unworthy)
  • Shame hinders us from stepping out into our destiny (we feel disqualified)

I want to encourage you to resist and reject the enemy’s attempt to play the shame game with you. When those old familiar condemning thoughts come your way, remind yourself that shame is under the curse and Jesus went to the cross to redeem you from every aspect of the curse including shame. Keep your eyes on Jesus and your face will reflect the glory of God and not shame. Claim the promise of Isaiah 61:7 and trade that shame for your inheritance and the double portion.


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