Shame…we’ve all experienced it at some point in our lives. It could be the result of your own sinful choices and behaviors or it could be the result of actions done to us by another.
In the Disney Pixar movie “UP”, Dug is forced to wear the “cone of shame” by a band of dogs that have decided to make his life miserable. As soon as the cone was placed on Dug, he instantly assumed a shameful posture and expression.
Growing up in a family of dysfunction, I too wore shame as an expression.
Shame was so ingrained in me that I didn’t even realize I was carrying it around. The guilt of shame, abuse and abandonment was all I had known. I wore it like a wet, wool blanket. I wrapped up in it and learned to find comfort in its oppressive warmth. I began to form my identity around my shame, as it became a part of my personality.
Over time, the weight from the shame coupled with the guilt from my own sin and poor choices left me debilitated and hopeless. I knew in my head that Jesus died for the sinful, hurting and brokenhearted but I had failed to apply this knowledge to my own life and heart.
Humiliation, embarrassment, guilt and hopelessness were frequent visitors to my heart.
As I began to grapple with my shame, I learned to separate out what had been done to me from my identity in Christ, I slowly unwrapped myself from the blanket of shame.
At first I felt exposed and vulnerable without my protective blanket. I had to learn new ways of thinking and responding to God and others that did involve assuming an expression of shame.
I learned that what happened to me and the sins that I committed are not what define me.
Who Jesus says I am is what defines me, and you. So just what does Jesus have to say about you and me? Plenty.
Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
If you find yourself wearing shame forced on you by another or as the result of sinful choices, know that the Lord is near. He knows the depth of your hurt and the weight of the pain you carry and He has come to set you free, if you will let Him.
Cast your burdens onto Jesus, for He cares for you.
Are you still wearing the cone of shame someone else assigned to you? What is holding you back from removing it?