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3 Powerful Ways to Silence Shame - for Good

  • Denise Pass
3 Powerful Ways to Silence Shame - for Good

Looking at old pictures, I felt that familiar tug in my heart. It hurt. But throwing away the pictures removed a part of my children’s past, too. How could we move forward with all of the pain? Would we be able to look at old pictures and smile again? It seemed impossible. Time has a way of healing, the world tells us—and yet time and distance alone cannot remove shame from the past. No, shame lurks still as we bury it underneath until it is triggered and resurfaces again. Like a game of Whack-a-Mole, we just can’t keep shame down.

Feelings of regret and condemnation criticize us as we consider the “what if’s” of the past. What if we had done something differently? What if we knew the truth? What if . . .? Bound by the shackles of the past and all of its mistakes and sorrows, we can tend to feel as if we will never be able to shake off shame’s impression upon us. But God.

Shame has a way of making the past stick, as if we owe allegiance to its memory by paying for it with a mind recompensed with shame. We don’t. We can remove shame and regret from our past when we seek to understand our past through God’s perspective and not our own. We can redeem the past and use it to guide us toward the future, rather than burying it. But we have to own up to the past in order to be rid of it. Facing whatever we’re avoiding, along with its fear and pain, we can overcome shame from our past and actually thrive again.

Photo Courtesy: Pexels

Face the Elephant in the Room.

Face the Elephant in the Room.

You know what I am talking about – that thing that no one wants to mention. It just hurts too much – or perhaps it hurts our pride too much. But avoiding the past is an obstacle to our healing. We must walk through and process the past in order to embrace the future without regret. But the method with which we examine that elephant can make all of the difference in the world.

Don’t dig up the past to open former wounds. Expose it for all of its flaws and its truths, with the word of God as our eyes. God is always faithful to open our eyes so we can walk in a higher freedom. Being vulnerable enough to examine shame rather than being put off by it restores our dignity rather than diminishing it. God does not reveal our shame to limit us, but to set us free. Our mistakes from the past do not matter, but what we learn from them does. Our goal has to be redemption, no longer accusation. We cannot change the past, but we can change our perspective and learn from it.

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

Fear Factor - Face the Fear

Fear Factor - Face the Fear

Fear is no friend of ours. Fear from shame’s accusation is like being in open handcuffs, choosing to stay shackled when we are actually free. When we can see our shame through God’s word, there is no fear. Perfect love casts out ALL fear. Not just the fear we are unashamed of—ALL fear. Fear from the past can be a bully. Fear of exposure. Fear of pain. Fear of man’s opinion. And yes, fear of shame. If we do not deal with the fear and shame from our past, we will carry them both into the future, as well.

What is it we are afraid of? Being defined by our shame. The labels others and ourselves affix to us do not stick if we walk in God’s definition. We are not defined by shame from the past—rather, we are defined by who we are in Christ. Naming the fear of shame appropriately also helps us to understand what we fear. When we understand that fearing shame is really fearing man’s opinion of us, we can let go of shame by embracing God’s opinion of us instead. Man’s opinion fades with time, but God’s lasts forever.

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

Face the Pain

Face the Pain

Pain—emotional, physical and spiritual—can prevent us from healing. No one opts for the painful way, right? At least that’s not what our flesh naturally desires. Pain causes disillusionment and simply makes living hard. But like avoiding problems, avoiding pain will not help us to heal. And hiding shame never heals it. Playing the victim, even if we legitimately are one, will only serve to make our pain a stronghold in our lives. Facing the pain is not a “suck it up, Buttercup” method. Our God is gentle and kind. God’s Word is a refuge and when we filter our pain through God’s word, He heals us. But in order to be set free from pain we have to be willing to bring our pain to God and avoid excusing and nurturing our pain. Searching His word for answers helps us to see beyond the pain and glorify God in the midst of it.

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

That Place of Pain is a Reminder of How Great God Is.

That Place of Pain is a Reminder of How Great God Is.

Perfect love casts out all fear. When we are willing to face the past filled with its shame, fear and pain through the word of God, we can rise above our past and not be defined by it. Looking at those pictures from time to time might still have a sting of pain, but now that pain reminds me of what God brought me through. Deliverance hurts. That place of pain is now a reminder of how great my God is at all times—and the past is a part of a story my God is telling through my life—not for my glory, but His.

We are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us. Will we follow their lead? Paul was a murderer. Peter betrayed Christ. David was an adulterer. Rahab, a prostitute. But they did not let their pasts or their shame define them. Rather, their pasts equipped them with humility and grace for the future. We don’t have to get rid of shame because it humbles us—no, we get rid of shame because it keeps us from living on mission for God. Our response to the past will define how we live out this life.

Photo Courtesy: Unsplash

We Don't Have to Regard Shame.

We Don't Have to Regard Shame.

As we look to our Savior and how he endured pain and shame, we marvel at His example. He embraced the pain with joy, because He knew it could not compare with the glory to be revealed and with the joy of knowing the souls He had redeemed. He knew shame. He experienced it from the church, the government, those He saved, and even His own disciples and family. And yet, He did not regard it. We don’t have to, either.

God removed all of our shame so we could exemplify to the world what it means to be redeemed. Shame off your past. Shame off your present. Shame off your future. Shame off you, friends.

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NLT)
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne.”


Denise Pass, author of Shame Off You and 31 Days to Hope Reinvented, is an award-winning CCM recording artist and singer-songwriter, accomplished writer/blogger, speaker, worship leader and podcaster (Black and White podcast). After a crushing discovery of her former husband’s hidden life as a repetitive sex offender and surviving a painful divorce, she now shares an inspirational message of seeing the deeper truth in God’s word when life hurts through her ministry, Seeing Deep Ministries. A graduate from the University of Maryland, Denise resides in Virginia, with her “Kinsman Redeemer” husband and five children. Find her online at DenisePass.com.

Photo Courtesy: Pexels