Shame is always the result of trusting what I feel or caring more about what man thinks than relying on God’s mind about a thing. Ultimately God doesn’t shame us, the Spirit will bring forth conviction but this is very different from shame. Shame is the destructive and satanic result of thinking apart from God.
When I go outside of the realm of God’s definition of my reality, I will enter the shame of defining what I think by how I feel. This is like the old Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disney—a crazy train to hell.
Thinking Apart from God
Shame is the product of not going to God for His definition of our circumstances.
Why does this produce shame in me? Because instinctually we know we are unable to live in any kind of reality without God. Most try, but it’s effectively impossible. Our design is dependence regardless of how many prosthetics we attach to give evidence to the contrary. God’s defining of my situations leads me to His heart and mind about them, where my thinking apart from God only brings shame.
Shame is a curb in my heart and mind to essentially keep me on His path. Shame is so destructive to my life and heart, causing so much pain, that it usually makes me want to flee from it. This is the good side of shame, it alerts me to wayward thoughts or actions. If I am in shame, I am away from the mind of God.
Weakness and Shame
In my last post I discussed my shame surrounding my weakness in learning. But what I am coming to is that it is my buffer of dependence on God and has been given to me as a gift. It is a cushion of need and dependence purposely put there by God and when I leave that, I enter shame.
In the mind of God all my weakness is a blessed handicap requiring me to depend on God and His thoughts. I’m encased in a bubble of requirement; it requires me to require Him as my vital necessity.
All of a sudden I see my learning deficit through the eyes of His grace. Instead of condemnation and shame, I see it as a gift. I am dependent on Him to carry me. So instead of looking at my inability as a great source of despair, I am starting to see it as a wonderful place of dependence.
Imagine looking at inability with new eyes, as a positive rather than a place of shame, a gift rather than a burden. I need Him, and He has made sure if it. Instead of cursing my weakness, failure and inability, I am choosing to embrace it, rejoice, and praise God for it.
If I must boast, I would rather boast about the things that show how weak I am.
2 Corinthians 11:30 NLT
Paul gloried in his weakness, knowing that in these areas God would be shown strong. Imagine not maximizing our strength or punishing our weakness but instead letting God shine in our weakness. Let’s live with something beyond resignation to our humanity, perhaps a celebration that He is so very able in that humanity. Maybe my weaknesses aren’t stronger than my God’s ability to perform?! This truly is a boast-worthy place!
Question, John: What if the shame is due to a sin of the past that has not been reconciled by the second party and so currently, still causes regret and shame? This is an ongoing “thorn” to me.
Thank you, John.
Well, John, since this occurrence was long before I was saved and has been repented of since, I’ll just trust God for where I am and believe that He will have His way.
I am praying about your question. I would like to write a response. I do know the blood is always enough, or we would all be sunk. Give me a little time to hear and let’s see if the Lord has something to say on this. Love you Pauline. Please tell Stephen I send my best!
Thank you! Thank you!