Shame isn’t a quiet grey cloud; shame is a drowning man who claws his way on top of you, scratching and tearing your skin, pushing you under the surface.
I don’t know who Kirsty Eager is or anything about her, but she and I have met the same kind of shame. There’s nothing quiet or passive about it. It is an aggressive, howling weight that locks me up and holds me down and renders me paralyzed. It’s not a feeling; it’s a full-on malevolent spirit. Until a few days ago, I really had no idea of the true size and scope of this darkness that I’ve fought my whole life.
Shame, Shame, I Know Your Name
Martha shared part of a revelation she’d had about shame, and it blew the doors off a big part of my life. One of the things she said was that humility lets shame go but pride keeps it. If I died tomorrow, that would be an appropriate eulogy for my life, because I have collected shame like some people collect coins. And it’s been eating my life and my joy this whole time.
I always viewed shame as just a bit of a damper on my life, like a moldy blanket that covered me from time to time. But that’s not what the Lord has been showing me at all. It’s a brutal, life-sucking principality that chokes my spirit every chance it gets. There are areas in my life that have felt unconquerable to me, but that’s because they were smothered and covered by hell-fired-and-fed shame.
I had confessed every other sin under the sun in these stagnant places of death, but never shame. Laziness, irresponsibility, fear, despair, bitterness, entitlement, arrogance and self-hatred to name a few, but every step forward was eventually followed by a big step back. There was progress because these other sins were at play, of course, but I had no idea that the name I needed was shame.
The Blood Conquered Shame
I have barely grasped what the Holy Spirit is showing me, but I know that shame is no match for the Blood of Jesus Christ. I’m listening again to Martha’s triumphant series, Conquered by the Blood, and trusting the Spirit’s timing and faithfulness. Every victory that Christ won is mine by the Blood, and though I am horrified by what I’m seeing, I will NOT stay there. Any place in my life with chains is a place where I chose to be chained, but because I am born again, I am no longer enslaved to sin and what I’ve chosen. The Spirit has given me the name of my tormentor and I am no longer bound to its murderous ministrations. Thank you, Jesus!