Only redeeming aspect of shame

By Dave Henning / January 20, 2024

“Perhaps the only redeeming aspect of shame is that even though it (shame) usually results in guilt and self-deprecation, shame can also lead us to God and His answers.  It sends us in search of a Savior. . . .  We instinctively know we need someone to rescue us from this debilitating force.  And in Jesus, we find a powerful antidote to our deepest, most personal wounds.”- Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram concludes Chapter 7 of Discover Your True Self as he offers these words of encouragement.  You’re not fighting the battle of shame alone.  Instead of being in the minority, the experience of shame represents a universal phenomenon.

Certainly, shame feels natural.  However, shame never reflects our true selves.  And deep down, something inside us knows that.  Hence, when we encounter the gospel and its promise to address our shame, our spirit responds.  As a result, the gospel draws us to the freedom found in Jesus.

But, Pastor Ingram counsels, unresolved shame tragically creates quite a few unhealthy dynamics in our lives.  Therefore, our attempts to cover up or overcompensate almost always come with regret.  In addition, those attempts perpetuate the cycle of shame.  Thus, that only adds to the feeling that if people know your true self, they will reject you.

In conclusion, Chip underscores the need for honesty- with God and with ourselves.  He writes:

“Facing the truth always precedes being healed by the truth. . . .  Your heavenly Father wants to help you, and that begins with honesty.  You have nothing to be ashamed about that is not common to the human condition.  You’re not a freak or an oddball.

You came into this world as a fallen human being, and part of that fallenness is getting caught in a cycle of shame that only God can heal.  But in order for Him to heal your shame, you need to bring it to the surface.  Identify it, call it out, and take it to Him.”

Today’s question: How does the only redeeming aspect of shame lead you to God and His answers?  Please share.

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Dave Henning

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