The Shame Game
Shame and condemnation resulting from our struggles and failures are what keep many from finding a confident place of relationship with the God who is pure and holy. The good news is that the cross has resolved our sin as well as our shame, so that we can freely be in his presence even in the midst of our struggles and failures. Unfortunately religion does not free people from shame, but only increases it as it seeks to manipulate people's performance. Following up on the recent podcast about sin, Wayne and Brad discuss the power of shame and how we can live free of it in our life with him.
Brad and Wayne,
Thank you so much for your podcast on shame. I am beginning to see how much of my life I was driven by shame. I was raised in a shame-based religion, then at twenty found Christ. For a few glorious months I found freedom and love as I read the bible from cover to cover and sensed God’s great mercy and love for me.
Then I got involved in a Campus Fellowship and the shame game started all over again. Finally, at age 48, I extricated myself from that fellowship and have returned to the wonder of just knowing God and allowing myself to feel accepted by Him just as I am.
Gradually, life and energy are emerging from my simplified relationship with the Father. While I still have anxiety pangs from time to time that I am not doing the “stuff’ (door to door evangelism, passing out tracts, teaching Sunday School, filling in various ministry slots at church, etc…), I believe that I am successfully shedding the performance mentality and moving into relationship mode.
You hit the nail on the head when you said that we all know shame well enough, what we don’t know so well is grace and forgiveness. It is so nice to be able to relax and just be myself and rely on the Spirit to lovingly guide me, instead of that wagging finger from the pulpit.
I’ve listened to this podcast three times now. It was something I desperately needed to hear. I have been dealing with an ongoing situation that I had no control over almost two years ago that I thought I had put to rest. Many many things have changed since then, and God is in the midst of blessing me tremendously, however, I have felt a lot of guilt and condemnation over this situation that occurred two years ago. In fact, I can’t even take 100% blame for it b/c I stood up for my ethics and took a huge hit, but the enemy who is the accuser of the saints has been rubbing it in my face, reminding me for the past few days about the events of the past. I’ve come under condemnation and guilt as a result and really fighting to overcome it through the proclamation of the cross, knowing that Jesus died on calvary for my sins and took care of it. Thank you!
Thank you for this. I was abused as a child and shame was something that I have carried a long time. Depression and anxiety have made me feel unable to do Gods will in my life. I have tried to do things for God but then just burn out quickly. Probably for the shame that I carry. I need to start to let go of things and just ‘be’. Gods mercy is great.
Hi guys, thank you so much for this podcast. I used to attend a Pentecostal church 15 years ago and I did the whole charismatic church thing to the maximum to please God, please church, please my ego etc….anyway, 5 years ago I went through a divorce and ended up living in one room in a shared house at the age of 38 having lost everything (home, wife, son); I went off the rails drinking, smoking, chasing women etc, my perfect holier than thou Christian walk went to a whole different direction! I moved to another part of the country to be closer to my 9 year old son when my wife moved away when she met a new man (husband) and i’m in the middle of that now….I started attending an Anglican church nearby that is so different from the Pentecostal thing; but what I want to share is this…..I have been a performer of religion all of my life whether Pentecostal or Anglican it makes no difference, its all performance. Well one day about a month ago I was on my own tidying the old churchyard in the Anglican country church I attend and felt the need to pray so I went inside the church, I was alone…..I sat in the wooden pew and asked the Holy Spirit to come into the church, to bless the church, but I didn’t expect what happened next to me..I sat there and for the first time in 15+ years as a follower of Christ I felt the love of Jesus literally flood my being, tears streamed down my face and all I could do was thank him over and over, I just kept saying to Him how kind he is, over and over, the tears kept flowing and in that moment I knew the absolute love of Jesus for me, it lasted maybe 10 minutes, I don’t know for sure. Now as a former Pentecostal I had experienced lots of things like the prayer lines, gifts of the Spirit etc but in all that time I had never truly felt the love of Christ, only actions! Crazy huh? My life is still hard, I see my lovely son generally every fortnight but often times more than that…God has blessed my efforts to be in my son’s life. Just wanted to share that I’ve realised the key to this whole walk is the love of Jesus, it cannot be taught, it has to be experienced as you discuss in this podcast. Thank you both. Vincent, Abergele, United Kingdom.