Consequences of our wrong choices don't immediately go away in our lives because we commit to better, right, healthy actions. I am still an obese woman. And I've lost 85 pounds! That's humiliating, no matter how you look at it. I've felt the shame that goes along with being my size, even as I've celebrated the shrinking that's been happening. But today, something reached me deep in my soul, and I've decided that I'm done with shame. No more...I'm not allowing it in my life, in my head, in my psyche...whatever you wanna call it. I'm done with shame.
"Guilt tells you you've done something wrong.
Shame tells you you ARE something wrong."
~ Sheila Walsh
"...Shame is a liar."
I saw that quote and re-tweet on my Twitter feed yesterday (LOVE social media...it has changed my life for the better in so many ways...but that's a whole other post!). It made me stop and really think about how I've allowed shame to shape my life. And I have to admit that it really has, honestly. As I confessed in the opening sentence here...I've made MANY choices and decisions in my life that I wish I could get a "do-over" on. I still do. I'm not into public confession of my deepest darkest secrets unless I feel others can benefit from hearing it...and I've done that on this blog many times. But there are so many other things that I'll never talk about here, yet I've felt the shame of nonetheless.
Feeling that shame has caused me to belittle myself, to view myself as less than what God created me to be, to think that God sees me the way that I do. But I'm done with that. What Sheila said here floored me...in the best way! Guilt is a healthy response to sin in our lives...because it leads us to repentance and correction of the things we've done wrong. I need to feel guilt when I've screwed up so that I'll do the things needed to fix it.
Ken and Sheila really got it right! Shame is a liar. Shame tries to separate us from our Creator by telling our heads and hearts that we are completely unlovable because of our choices. Nothing could be further from the truth, friends. Nothing. Here's the truth of the matter...
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives LIFE has set you free from the law of sin and death." ~ Romans 8:1-2
My Creator KNOWS me...He MADE me and understands the war within me...the battle I wage with the desire to do good things and the reality of continuing to make horrible choices. And yet...He does NOT condemn me. Does he hate my SIN...ABSOLUTELY!!! But does He hate ME??
No. Not at all.
I am NOT condemned by Him. I am set FREE by Him through His love and grace.
Friends...I'm DONE with shame! Guilt, I'll feel...it's good for me. It brings me back to right choices. But I am completely over the shame I used to feel. It's a burden I don't need to carry. I used to make really bad choices about my health, exercising, eating...but I refuse to feel shame for that any longer. It's not productive and it makes me a slave to my past. Why be a slave when the price for my freedom has already been paid?