- There’s more to God than demands and rules.
Some parents have portrayed God to their children as an unforgiving rule maker. While God has set up a system for living that is for our benefit, He was also gracious enough to send His Son to pay for our sins with His life. Grace is God’s antidote for shame.
- Don’t hold on to the past too tightly.
You can infect your children with the same shame-based thinking you were taught or you can be the transitional generation. Do the hard work necessary to gain a biblical perspective on your worth. Spiritual health is caught more than taught.
- Anything that focuses on a person instead of a behavior can bring shame.
If we say, “you are bad” instead of “what you did is bad“, we drive that person towards unhealthy shame.
- Many spouses feel it’s their “calling” in life to point out the other’s faults.
Don’t get caught in this trap. How can you say to your brother, “Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,” when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? – Luke 6:42
- If you’re feeling shame, tell someone how you feel.
When you are able to be open about your shame, you’ll likely find others who have experienced the same thing. You’ll open the door for God to use someone to help you embrace a biblical understanding of shame and grace. That’s what the Body of Christ is supposed to do. Therefore, confess your sins one to another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. – James 5:16
- Get involved in a Bible study about grace.
Go to a Christian bookstore and ask what study materials they have about God’s grace. Meditate on these scriptures. You’ll soon find that the scope of God’s love overwhelms your shame.
- Get out of yourself and in to other people.
Stop self-obsession and find a place to serve other people. The act of getting involved and making a difference in others’ lives is a great shame remover.
- With children, connect before you correct.
Identify the behavior that was unacceptable. Discuss what motivated it. Re-affirm your love in spite of the bad behavior and then explain why this type of behavior cannot be allowed. Set firm consequences, but focus on the behavior, not the child. Understand the child may be displeased with you after the initial discussion. Make a plan to re-connect after a period of time.
- Shame is not a sign of spiritual weakness.
Many in the church hold a grudge where God is offering grace. Get connected to a healthy, well-balanced body of believers who will build you up, not tear you down.
- Your past can end one second ago.
Grace allows you to have a completely clean slate. God’s grace is unmerited. It’s a free gift – embrace it!