Paralyzed By Shame

Our Pastor spoke about Shame this morning and it really challenged me. Shame can be paralyzing. Shame is not the same as guilt. Guilt is a feeling after you have done something wrong. Shame is the feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong with me. What causes Shame? My pastor was saying that Shame comes from the Human need to feel valued. We should feel valued by God and find our worth in God, but more often than not, this is not the case in our lives. Our value comes from our Job, our appearance, our talents, and our friends and family. If any of these areas fail, our lives become shattered, and our sense of value begins to crumble.

A lot of my value comes from wanting to please those closest to me. I am afraid of failure. I want to please those around me and so in my quest for perfection I am scared to take risks. I do not want to take the wrong job, because I do not want to disappoint or make the wrong decision. I settle for good enough, in order to maintain my value. My inadequacies force me to try to earn value in other areas of my life. Fear of failing keeps me paralyzed, as I seek to please people. I need to know that someone needs me, or that I matter to someone, in order feel my worth.

Sure these feelings sound ridiculous, but we all feel inadequate, or below other people's standard. We allow those standards to paralyze us from really living. The truth is that we will never match up to these expectations, and that our sense of value will never be fulfilled. We are going to fail in some way at our job, in our marriage, and with our family.

Living without shame comes with a realization that God is our Redeemer and restorer. We are not perfect, but God has already made up for our imperfection. We are all sinners, but we all can be restored by God.

The Road to Restoration includes living lives free from Shame and finding value in the love of God. I am not trying to simplify life, because living without shame is not easy, but I desire to fully accept God's love for me. I need to be satisfied with that alone.


Anonymous said...

Truth. Good message and it couldn't have come at a better time. Just had a conversation with my roomie about things a long this line. We have to find our value in God and not other people, or even ourselves. If we don't we will always be left disappointed.

Megan said...

Matt... thanks for sharing this... i couldn't help but read it a few times and really take a hard look at myself... this spoke to me brotha!

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