Shame

            John Bevere’s book “Bait of satan” is based on his premise that satan’s greatest weapon is offense. We are offended and then sin, either by lashing out at the person who offended us, or seething within, but in either case, never really forgiving the person who offended us. Or we unconsciously offend another, and that person is faced with the same problem. Mr. Bevere has hit upon a great problem that affects all of us. We are offended. We offend. I believe offense is a great weapon of satan, but I think he has at least one other equally strong one.

            Eric, an old friend, with the LORD’s help, was able to leave a situation that led him to fall deeply, spiritually. Even though he repented of his mistake, and God had forgiven him and forgotten the sin, others had not. He felt that satan’s greatest weapon is shame. He said that satan taunted him with: “You can’t do this; you’re a sinner. (naming the sin)” whenever he tried to better himself in any way.  He thought he would never break free from that shame.

We sin, and we can’t live it down. Other people treat us differently or shun us altogether, and yet we are our own worst enemy. We beat ourselves up and then listen to inner voices that say we are not good enough or can’t do anything because of our past. We can be paralyzed by shame. We may even withdraw or give up.

            A woman, who was fighting obesity, would eat potato chips in the bathroom because she didn’t want her young daughter to know. All her attempts to lose weight only put on more. A man, who had been injured from a bad landing after a parachute jump, could not walk unsupported. For years, he suffered depression feeling shame that he couldn’t fulfill his role as husband and father. He said, “I just stopped trying at all.”

            Sometimes failure can push us down a slippery slope of shame. We tell ourselves, “I should have known better, done something different, avoided that situation, never said a word, tried harder, and so on. It can sever relationships and even disrupt careers as we put a brick wall of shame up and never approach the problem or failure again.

            It’s time to break down that wall! God says that if we love and follow Him, He will never condemn or shame us. In fact, if we come to Him with a promise to try again to do the right thing, He will completely forget our sin. As if we never failed. He paid the price so that we could forget it, too.

            Remember the man who fell into depression because he couldn’t walk without assistance? He now runs. The woman, who hid in the bathroom to eat potato chips, sought and found a program that offered an exercise routine and an eating plan she could follow. She lost 85 pounds, And Eric decided to fight the stares and comments, and went back to school to work on a degree in counseling. He wants to help others who are facing what he has faced. And won. 

            Do you have a brick wall that keeps you from following your dream? What might happen if you gave your shame to God? He won’t condemn you.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NASB

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