Two Steps in Helping Overcome Shame and Condemnation

Originally published Wednesday, 25 February 2015.

Have you ever awakened to a new day filled with fresh mercy, but you just can’t see it? As soon as your eyes open there begins an assault of thoughts in your head that say you aren’t who you’re supposed to be. You’re not enough…

I fight it. I know it all too well.

Here is what I’ve learned:

  • If I ever feel that I’m not who I’m supposed to be, it’s because I’m focusing hard on my own definition of myself rather than God’s. I’m not seeing who I am in Him.
  • If I think I’m not enough, then I’m not seeing the extent of His goodness. I’m not seeing that I have worth because He is worthy.

It’s all about Him and should never be about me.

I’ve always been the type of person who views myself with an extremely critical eye. I tend to focus on what I could have done better. After my stepfather died I spent every second of every day trying to figure out why I didn’t see the warning signs. And then I practically drove myself crazy wondering how I was going to live with guilt that said I didn’t do anything to save him. Eventually, I recognized it’s not that I didn’t, it’s that I couldn’t. I wasn’t meant to.

This life and all the details that surround our biggest sorrows and greatest joys are not about us. They are about Christ. And if we can learn to see ourselves the way Christ sees us, then we will be spared heartache birthed from our own critical eyes. We have to come to the point where we understand that it’s possible to stop the infliction of shame and guilt. We were never intended to suffer it.

We bear too many burdens that we were never meant to carry, we worry more often than we should, and we fight battles we were never suited to fight. Why? Because we try to take everything into our own hands rather than hand the weight over to God. We draw attention to ourselves and the present battle, rather than on the God who already won every battle. Oh, friend, if we changed are war strategies to falling on our knees and letting God do what He must, life would be so much easier. Control is detrimental to the soul. It hurts way down deep.

  1. The first step to overcoming thoughts meant to cause shame and condemnation, is to recognize that God is not only strong enough, but good enough. Recognizing that He’s all we’ll ever need helps in the action of letting go of what we aren’t meant to hold. When we can cling tight to who He is, instead of those burdens, then we’ll start the process of being free from thoughts that attack us.
  2. The second step is to remember who we are in Christ. By doing this we can finally begin to see who He intends for us to be. When we rely on His word, we can stand on His promises knowing that He is a big God who moves mountains for us every day, even when we can’t see them moving.

I know I say this a lot, but I believe it’s a key component in learning how to live in the fullness and grace of our Lord Jesus. So here it is again, friend. You have worth because Christ is worthy.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

-Romans 8:1



If you missed my television interview and would like to see it, you can click here.