Shame on You!


It lurks in the darkest recesses of your mind, nibbling like a starving rat at your peace and joy.


Any attempt to drive it away turns it into a monster, as it reminds you it has every right to be there. It's not an impostor. It's not an undeserving guest. You've earned the right to keep company with it and it's now here to stay.


It masquerades as humility, but that's only a disguise. In fact, it is the exact opposite of godly humility. It is toxic shame.


That event, that moment when you could have done something different but you didn't. Those choices, those actions that got out of hand now loom like Goliath in your conscience. You've prayed for forgiveness so many times you're afraid God is weary of your pleas--but still it hunkers, glaring at you every time you try to feel good about yourself.



You're right. God is tired of your whining, but not for the reasons you think.


Scripture warns us, "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."


Proud??? (I can hear your incredulous gasp from here.) Proud? I feel anything but proud. If you knew what I did, how I failed, you'd know that I just can't forgive myself.
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Oh really? Has God forgiven you?
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Well yeah, sure. He always forgives when we ask, but...I can't forgive myself.
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So what you're saying is that your standard is higher than God's. You're saying, "Thanks God for letting your Son die for my sin and promising to forgive me when I ask, but frankly...that's not enough. I need to punish myself."

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No! No, that's not what I'm saying...well...maybe it is.

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Toxic shame is pride flipped upside down. The shame that lingers long after God has cast your sin as-far-as-the-East-is-from-the-West is not from God. It's coming from inside you. Your pride. God isn't as hard on you as you are, so you're taking his offer of forgiveness and trying to improve on it. You know better than God whether or not you should be forgiven. Isn't that pride?

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Satan loves to taunt you with your failings, throw them up to you any chance you give him. Scripture even reminds us that he is an "accuser of the believers," and we glibly go right along with him, believing every acidic thing he tells us.

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So what's lurking in your past? Having trouble letting go of the shame? Feel as though you don't deserve to get off that lightly?

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You don't. None of us does. That's why God's grace is so amazing. But trying to add to what He's already done is tantamount to a slap in His face.

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God is the ultimate authority on right and wrong. If you've repented of your sin, ask his forgiveness, and trusted in His Son's sacrifice to make you right with the Father, then nothing is left for you to feel shame over. It's done. It is finished.

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Don't let pride keep you from enjoying it.

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