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The Voice of Shame

SHAME says, "If people really knew you, they would reject you. If people knew what you have done or  what has been done to you, they would not want anything to do with you. Remember Adam and Eve! They realized they were naked and ashamed, so they hid. They hid from each other by covering themselves with leaves, and they hid from God in the bushes. You should hide too. Don't let people really get to know you, because they will reject you. And don't be honest with God, because He will forsake you. Oh, and if someone shows you love, it is not real. They don't really know you."
TRUTH says, "God is in the business of covering shame. He performed the first recorded animal sacrifice by covering Adam and Eve with animal skins so they could be in each other's presence without shame. Now, those who trust in Christ and His sacrifice are clothed with His righteousness. You can be known and loved. God knows you, and he has promised to never forsake you. And if you risk vulnerably, you can be known and loved by others. It may be scary and feel risky, but you were made to be known and loved. No matter what you have done or what has been done to you, you are a sacred image-bearer of God."
When you see the word "SHAME," what do you think about? Is it something you have done? Is it something someone did to you that you would have never chosen?  Have you been an abuser or been abused? Do you have a perceived physical, mental, or personality flaw you try to hide at all times? Shame can take many forms, but shame always makes us want to hide.
  If you are overwhelmed by shame, believing you are unlovable or valueless, please consider this good news. You do not have to hide from God. Jesus took on shame on Calvary's cross. His blood was shed and now through faith we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ. 
A few things you can do if you are struggling with shame:

  1. Stop hiding from God. He loves and redeems sinful and broken people like you and me. Have an honest time of prayer, and it may be helpful to write the prayer so that you can come back to it. 
  2. Share areas of shame with a trustworthy, loving, and wise friend or family member. When we risk and are vulnerable, we are able to experience being known and loved, which is a powerful experience. 
  3. Make an appointment with a counselor to explore living free of shame. Do this especially if you are not able to do number two above, because you do not have a safe and loving person in your life or you are unable to share with them due to how risky it feels. As you are able to be open and honest in a safe place like a counseling room, you will see that you are sacred and valuable as an image-bearer of God. You will experience what it is like to be known and valued, and you will not want to settle for anything less. 

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