Many Christians struggle to feel God’s love because of their own shame. My new ebook, “Breaking Your Shame Label” tackles an issue that is not addressed enough in our churches – Christians who suffer with shame because they do not believe they measure up to receive God’s love. As a result, they feel disconnected from God and have a difficult time feeling His love for them. My Sites
As a Christian counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA, I see two frightening similarities in many Christian clients.
- They carry a burden of shame that results from an inability to control sinful behavior. We tend to believe God’s seal of approval is based on our “performance.” This creates a mindset of never measuring up to what God expects from us. This leads to what I call a Shame Label.
- There is an endless struggle to feel God’s love and presence. “What does God’s love feel like” we ask. We dare not move toward Him in fear He will label us as disappointments and reject us. What we fail to recognize is we are projecting the negative feelings we have about ourselves on to God. We have adopted lies Satan drills into our heads to hinder our relationship with the Father. We are trapped in the Christian Shame Cycle, which leaves us feeling spiritually empty.
What identifies you? Is it your job? Is it the college you went to? Is it your status in the community or church? Or perhaps it is something from your past. Maybe it’s an abusive experience that you replay in your mind again and again.
These tragic memories never seem to fade away but instead continue to haunt you until they become part of your internal fabric that you wear every day. Or perhaps it’s a series of lies you have come to believe that are part of your identity. Lies such as: “I’m not that smart.” “I’m not attractive.” “I am unlovable.” “I am worthless.” “People never like me.” Continue reading
One of my clients was going through a particularly difficult time with finances. Her hours at work had been reduced and she needed to dip into her savings each month to pay her bills. This went on for several months and she complained the stress of worrying about money was having a negative impact on her sleep, health and personal relationships. Normally, a gentle and easy-going individual, her emotional distress was causing her to be irritable and short-tempered. She could find nothing to be happy with and found fault in all things and every one. She was painting her life with a broad black brush.
When I asked what percentage of the time she thought about her financial situation she answered “It seems like I think about it 100% of the time. I can’t let it go and it feels like a weight that is causing me to drown.” Continue reading
A new survey conducted by Weight Watchers showed women on average criticize themselves eight times a day. Eight times a day a woman is trashing herself in some fashion!
The survey, which was conducted among 2,000 women between the ages of 18 and 60, claims women engage in negative self-talk most often about their appearance and career. They also spend a great deal of time comparing themselves to other women – which we know never leads to positive outcomes. In fact, 89% of the women admitted giving compliments to other women that they would never believe about themselves. Continue reading
Most of us think of Christmas as a time of sharing and enjoying the company of friends and family. It is a time of year that is different than any other time filled with festivities and good cheer. We tend to feel more at peace and content.
Unfortunately, Christmas does not bring about similar feelings for everyone. There are many believers who spend Christmas Day alone. When it comes to friends and family they have either withdrawn or have been casted aside.
There are no gifts under the tree (in fact there may not even be a tree). There is no aroma of a turkey baking in the oven. There is no kissing taking place under the mistletoe. There are no smiling faces looking back at them. Continue reading
Sally was a victim of child abuse growing up. Sitting in the counseling office she explained how she hated the verbal and physical abuse her mother inflicted upon her as a young child and into her early teen years. “I hate her for how she treated me,” Sally said with tears swelling in her eyes. “I could do nothing right when it came to her. I was never smart enough; never pretty enough; never clean enough. It was always something. Always something!
“But the worst part is I can’t forget it,” she continued. “Here I am 20 years later and I still have nightmares about her standing over me hitting me with a wooden spoon or whipping me with an extension cord. I am nervous all the time like I am expecting it to happen again at any moment.”
Sally is a victim of “bad memory flow”. That is when past traumatic events repeat over and over into our minds like an endless loop. These are events that we can’t put behind us because our brains have a difficult time rationalizing them. There is no closure or relief from the emotional pain that has been imprinted in our psyche. In turn, leads to endless anxiety, stress and acting out in destructive behaviors. What these troubling thoughts serve to do is to keep us as victims. Continue reading
As believers we are taught the Holy Spirit is our counselor. The Spirit resides in us as an amazing gift from God to enable us not only to feel His presence in our lives, but to assist us in our journey of spiritual transformation.
Photo Credit: Taylor James
But if God is in us, why do we continue to struggle with a sinful nature? Why do we continue to suffer from shame? Let’s examine several reasons. Continue reading