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How Shame Limits Your Capacity and Your Progress

by Christine
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Let’s talk about shame…

Last week, the topic of shame came up for me. God brought to my awareness how shame had kept me hiding for nearly a decade of my life while I was going through so many trials and tribulations all by myself, hidden from friends and family.

I remember those years so vividly. Shame had crippled my capacity, my motivation, my drive, my health, and most of all, my self-worth. I didn’t want to socialize with others because I was shameful that I had nothing to show for in my entrepreneurship journey, and no career anymore.

For years, I had so many struggles with shame. Shame told me that my new identity as a mom was not enough, that I needed to do more, be more, contribute more… that I needed a position in society that would make me feel important, because otherwise, I was nothing.

Shame attacked my entrepreneurship journey, my identity, my marriage, my finances, my body image, my home, my organization, my cooking abilities, my habits, my sleep patterns, my food choices, and anything else it could attack.

For a long time, shame broke me because I had bought into the lie. Hearing the words of shame in my head about my life for so many years soon whittled my self-worth to almost nothing. I also found that when I was walking around with shame, people would say things to touch on those painful points unknowingly, confirming my shame rather than removing it, as they were probably also dealing with shame as well.

So, I hid. I hid in a deep, dark cave, which was what my apartment looked like at the time.

I hid in the shadows trying to battle all those negative thoughts, seeking any words of positive influence that could bring me out of the darkness.

Coming Out of Shame

After being isolated for so long, I finally decided to reach out and meet people despite everything I was feeling about myself at the time.

As I came out of my hiding place, I began to see that so many people dealt with this same feeling of shame.

Shame attacks new moms, new dads, entrepreneurs, the overweight, the thin, people in debt, and pretty much everyone in some area of their life. Shame is ruthless. It attacks and attacks and attacks… until you stand up to it and take away its power.

I started to disagree with the thoughts of shame and start addressing issues one by one.

  • My big post-partum belly? Instead of judging the belly, I began loving it for what purpose it served to bring me a beautiful daughter into the world.
  • My entrepreneur journey that I thought should be farther along? I gave the “shoulds“ to God and asked Him what I should do with my life instead. The answers always surprised me, and I found myself course correcting and moving into a new direction.
  • My finances? I started tracking it so I knew where we stood and face it head on.
  • My cooking? I enrolled in culinary school since I wasn’t doing anything fruitful with my business coach during the beginning of my entrepreneurship journey anyhow.

Rather than hiding in shame, I decided to address the shame.

To improve my self-worth, I started writing down a list of all my accomplishments over the years and the things I succeeded in and that I was proud of myself for. The fact that I had done these things in the past that meant that I could do it again.

Slowly, shame lost it’s power, as I took my power back. I disagreed with the shameful thoughts and started making changes in my life so that shame could not make me feel small again.

The Spirit of Shame

What I didn’t know about then that I know now is that shame is a spirit. These spirits (aka demons) come to kill, steal, and destroy. They don’t play nice. They don’t care about you. They want to tear you down and prevent you from achieving what God has in store for you.

Shame makes you hide. Shame keeps you locked up in cave. Shame tries to keep you in darkness rather than exposing you to the light. Shame limits your progress and keeps you stuck. Shame keeps you in destructive patterns.

The reason I’m talking about shame is because not only did I have an encounter with God about healing the shame from my past (shame, once removed, still leaves wounds that must heal), but I also listened to a talk that was supposed to be about entrepreneurship and connecting to your audience, but ended up being about shame. Then, at church this past Sunday, part of the sermon was about shame. When God tells me things in 3’s, I pay attention!

Apparently, this was a big issue for not just me, but for a lot of people!

Although I had addressed my shame and was on the mend with it, my husband had not. The breaking off of shame during yesterday’s church service had such a profound effect on my husband that I couldn’t stop telling him how much of a different person he was yesterday.

He was happier, lighter, more expressive, and more caring. This was not the husband I knew, but was so grateful to see that God had done some serious deliverance yesterday. Shame, rejection, and the orphan spirit was broken off of my husband. I didn’t know he was still dealing with shame, as shame likes to hide and prevents people from talking about their problems with others, but it made sense as there were so many issues in our life still that were still there.

Shame creates avoidance. When we are shameful about something, rather than addressing it, we tend to avoid it, thinking it’ll go away if we ignore it, but the truth is, it doesn’t. Ignoring problems just makes them grow.

Shame can be sneaky. It can attack you for so many small things, like feeling behind in your work, behind on your taxes, behind on your laundry. It can attack you for putting off that diet, not sticking to your diet, not exercising, or eating something you shouldn’t have. It can attack you on big things and little things. Notice when shame creeps in.

Shame also likes to keep people in isolation. If you are hiding from people, chances are, shame has been attacking you.

Where is Shame Keeping You Small in Your Life?

I want you to take a look at your life and see where shame might have been attacking you. Is it your habits? Your finances? Your relationships? Your marital status? Your weight? Your career? Your messy house? Your children? Your health?

Whatever it is attacking, just know this. Shame is not from God. It is from the enemy.

Overcoming Shame

Let’s kick shame out of your life once and for all!

Rebuke that shame. It is not you.

You have nothing to be ashamed of because God loves you unconditionally, and Jesus has already paid the price for all of our sins. He already knows all of your sins, all your hurting places, all your desires, disappointments, your insecurities, your dreams.

He is not there to condemn you, but is looking for you to come to Him.

Take all that shame to Him and give it to Him. Let Him wash you with the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus makes you clean again. Repent for anything that might have brought shame into your life. Repent for your sins. Repent for agreeing with shame and not with how God sees you.

Then, start to agree with how God sees you.

You are a child of God. You are a child of the most high King. You are a glory carrier that will do might works for our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Let’s break those chains. Unshackle you from that bondage of shame that was placed there by the enemy. It is not your destiny. It does not fit with the plan that God has for you.

The enemy used it to keep you small. He lied to you because he was fearful for what you would do if you knew your true worth… and how you would shake the kingdom of darkness by walking into your calling.

No more! Be free from shame.

Take all your baggage to God and let Him heal all those open wounds. You are more amazing than you realize. Your worth is far greater than you’ve probably ever given yourself credit for.

You may feel like you’re very ordinary, or have gone through so many failures, but what God cares about is your heart… your heart to serve the Lord.

When you remove shame from your life, you will start walking more boldly in knowing that you are a child of the most high King. You are representing the Kingdom of God. God has you here to be part of the body of Christ, so that He can work mightily through you.

Who are we to say we are not good enough for what God has called us to do?

Give shame to the Lord, and walk with your head held high knowing that you are loved beyond measure by your Heavenly Father. You don’t have to earn His love. He loves you as the most loving Father would. There are no conditions to your worth. Your worth is not determined by what you do.

Just having a heart to serve Jesus is enough. Do not let the condemnation of the enemy keep you down. The enemy is a liar, and all of these shameful thoughts are lies. Don’t buy into them.

We all make mistakes. We all do things we are not proud of. We all have dark skeletons in our closets. Bring them out and give them to God. Let’s be free from all that baggage weighing us down.

Who knows, maybe one day God will use those stories to minister to others.

For now, break shame off of you. Be free. Plead the blood of Jesus. Repent. Give everything to God.

I pray you will walk into your future feeling light and free.

Come out of hiding from the shadows. Give anything you are struggling with to God. There is no sin that God can’t forgive you for. Remove the power that shame has had over your life. There is nothing that can’t be washed by the blood of Jesus.

God loves you and He wants to heal you.

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