Shame Triggered Self-punishment

Shame Triggered Self-punishment

Someone reminded me the other day that in one of the episodes of The Chosen, Mary Magdalene gets triggered. (Season 2 Episode 5,6) This whole series of videos makes the gospels so tangible. As we watch the lives of Biblical characters, it gives us opportunity to relate so deeply to their humanness. The whole of the Bible presents fallible men and women with common struggles as they encounter and interact with a perfect God.

In these Chosen episodes, situations happened around Mary that cast her into deep shame. It was painful traumas from her past that set up triggers in her life. When she got triggered she began to tailspin out of control. I loved the depiction that the creators of The Chosen series presents. It is so common and it was super helpful to see this depicted on the screen.

In Mary’s case she came face to face with a demoniac which brought up her own shameful wounds from her past. She was triggered with these past traumas, even after her divine calling from Christ. When these triggers happened she was catapulted into shame and back into the very lifestyle she was called out of. This happens with us too.

Shame Triggers

Shame Triggers
I believe the purpose of our triggers is for deep dependence and reliance on Jesus. When we become triggered with shame, as we will, we are often emotionally capsized. Being triggered makes us look for a lifesaver. Too often this lifesaver is to revert to old patterns and habits, as we saw with Mary in The Chosen. She went back to her origin story, because that was what she was comfortable with. Even if it was torment and trauma, it is what she knew. The reason this visual representation had so much power is because this is what we typically do as well.

But Christ presents Himself as our true Lifesaver. The exposure of our shame is sometimes the only way we will turn to Him to resolve these deep wounds. So you see, being triggered may be the perfect invitation to experience Christ’s Life. He knows we are mere dust, and comes to set the captive free from ALL that binds us.

Triggered Self-punishment

Triggered Self-punishment
Being triggered is often where we have pointed out the areas in our heart we have not let Christ fully heal us. There is no condemnation in this because it takes what it takes to redeem us. But when we have unresolved shame, we sometimes will use self-punishment in hopes of dealing with the pain. It is like we feel, “We deserve to be punished rather than receiving His grace!” This is never a viable solution, but it does open up our wounds and gives us the opportunity to let Christ in.

Our Lord uses what He uses to bring us into His fullness. Even our pain and shames can give opportunity to bring us in line with His redemptive plan. This is just what it means to have a sovereign God. Experiencing His Sovereign Touch in our lives sometimes comes through difficulty, pain and suffering. I know personally that it has often been those areas I have been ashamed of where Jesus floods with His brilliant light and Life.

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    • Tina Cruz

      This is such a painful and wonderful discovery. Our nature is to hide, withdrawal and hate that part of ourselves. The despair and hopelessness to resolve our internal conflicts seem to have no way out especially when we return there repeatedly and never seem to heal. It is though with great surprise that God meets us in those dark places in such a way that His love is undeniable and freeing! I am learning that I can step into His love at anytime! His Rest!

    • Helen

      As a child, I was unkempt in every way…afraid to be seen…disorder longing for order, & perimeters of safety. Thank God the exposure of our shame is “invitation to experience Christ’s Life”. My shame linked exposure, & ‘I deserve to be punished’. What I ‘deserve’, isn’t it…it’s what we can bear of His Love. Redemption…is Love out of all category! Three times this verse comes, in levels of experience & the unfolding ways of Love, in the Song of Songs….”..stir not up nor awake my love, till she please”…secret preparations that make us ready for the intimacy of His Love. He woo’s us. He jealously desires what is Real. To hear His pleasure & promise, we must also hear His penetrating Voice that prepares our hearts for such Love. And HE, & i, Rest in His Love. Love is heart surrender. He takes the ‘looking away’ out of us. Surrender has come to mean, at His approach, i lay my hands on my heart…& open hands & heart to Him, looking into His eyes touching deep places…to be filled with Light & Love & Life. Our perimeters are IN CHRIST, they are boundless. We will be surprised at what He says, with just a glance.

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