Merriam Webster dictionary defines shame as “a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.”
Shame is like fire. Set it free and it will destroy everything it touches. When we do something we know we aren’t suppose to do, shame can consume every part of us to the point where we can’t even look ourselves in the mirror. I know how easily I can get lost in shame’s overwhelming presence and I’m sure I’m not alone. So, I wanted to share 3 simple steps that can help pull you out the feeling of shame.
I came across this text in the notes section of my phone. I have no idea if I wrote it, copied and pasted it from somewhere, or got it from a sermon, but I just have to share it.
“Don’t be ashamed. Your old nature will always be there. It will never subside and never go away. Stop beating yourself up about it. It is normal and imperative to constantly ask God to renew your mind and to take control of your mind. Every Christian has to do it. It is war. Every Christian is in this war.”
We are only human. It is inevitable that we will make and continue making mistakes. We will never be perfect. So, stop trying. Our fragile bodies are not built for intense and painful emotions like shame. The only thing we can do is make mistakes, learn from them, and do better the next time.
Okay, so you did it. That thing you know you weren’t suppose to do. Don’t deny it, admit it. Own up to your mistakes by apologizing to those you have wronged, but also forgiving yourself. There are enough people in this world trying to tear you down, you don’t need to add to their numbers.
“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress; which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once.” ~Unknown
We all make mistakes. What sets you apart from a failure, is how you bounce back. You have places to be and bigger fish to fry. There’s no time to be stuck in shame or to allow people to keep you in a place of shame. Cut yourself some slack, forgive yourself, and do better.