What Do I Do With My Shame?
Sitting on the porch in the cool of the evening, walking with my wife and children around the neighborhood, or sitting in bed just before we drift off to sleep are peaceful moments in my life. Moments I treasure in my heart to ensure I never forget my blessings. These are also the moments dark thoughts creep in. Thoughts of a past conversation or bad decisions that brought shame and pain to myself and others. What do I do when I have these feelings of shame?
Psychologists tell us we are able to create narratives for ourselves. We have the ability to reconstruct those shameful moments into constructive moments of learning. Scripture’s ‘good news’ is that those moments don’t define us. They are cleansed and redeemed when clothed in Christ. The pain we have done to others doesn’t go away, but we are no longer that person. We are changing, metamorphosing into something new. The guilt and shame is not ours to bear. Christ has covered us in grace while changing our heart into something beautiful and priestly.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:1-4).
I have Scripture memorized for these moments. I know these thoughts have come only to destroy, so I set my mind on things above. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful (Colossians 3:15).”
I grab hold of Scripture and the promises of God. In times of temptation, distress, or dark thoughts I cling tightly to Jesus’ teaching. There is a better way to live in the moment, a moment that lasts eternity. The more practiced I have become at recalling His promises the longer I am able to live in the moments of blessings. I am able to be fully present with my family while Scripture chases away the ghosts and demons of the past.
I know I’m not worthy, but I trust in God’s promises. His wisdom (teaching) is life, there I have it to the fullest.