By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS
What does your shame look like? Is it reflective of a trauma from your past? It is the result of abuse you suffered at the hands of another? Perhaps it is the regret of poor choices. Or it could be an addictive behavior you simply cannot manage.
Shame has the ability to take our emotional pain and ensure it never fades away. Instead it haunts us daily until hurtful memories become part of our internal fabric. We believe the lies Satan softly whispers or loudly screams at us and we wear them as labels to identify ourselves. Labels such as: “I’m not smart.” “I’m not attractive.” “I am unlovable.” “I am worthless.” “I don’t respect my body.” “People don’t like me.” “You can use me.”These labels are filled with hurt, pain and shame and they cause us to self-loath and sometimes self-destruct. Matthew West has a song called “My Name Is” in which he captures the essence of these erroneous labels. Here is a brief sample of the lyrics.
“Hello, my name is defeat, I know you recognize me. Just when you think you can win, I’ll drag you right back down again, until you’ve lost all belief.”
It is not uncommon for us to build an identity rooted in shameful lies, which we believe are based in truth. With this poor sense of self, we experience self-hate and feelings of worthlessness. This in turns leads to destructive behaviors and the development of unhealthy relationships. It is all part of Satan’s game plan to crush our spirits and take our focus off of the abundant life God promises for us.
But we don’t have to play into Satan’s hands. We can correct the false beliefs about ourselves and begin the process of removing our shame labels by developing an accurate and genuine assessment of our true self. And we begin by understanding God’s assessment of our worth.
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3
The key words in the verse are “what we will be has not yet been made known”. We are not the creatures God designed. The fallen world, along with irresponsible and dangerous people hard-wired His precious design. That is why we suffer. However, His amazing promise tells us we can’t even begin to imagine what we will look like on the Day of Judgment when Christ appears to us. If we had not removed our shame labels by then they will be permanently taken from us by our Father.
As children of God we have been forgiven, redeemed, accepted, loved, called, given hope and made pure again. You see, the real truth is we are all children of a King. That is the foundation of our true identity. Take time to do some self-reflection by examining the current source of your identity and work to make the adjustments needed to align it with the one true King.
“Hello my name is child of the one true King. I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, and I have been set free. Amazing Grace is the song I sing. Hello my name is child of the one true King.”