rebelling against low expectations

How do you overcome shame?


J. WRITES: Because of present sin in my life and because of past experiences I’ve had, sometimes I feel the weight of shame. It’s a terrible burden. I know I should pray and read God’s Word, but what’s some practical advice for overcoming shame?

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  • Well, you said that you have some present sin in your life, to begin with before you can begin to overcome the shame you must repent and cut it out of your life by any means possible. Having someone keep you accountable may be a good idea. Next, you need to remember God’s love for you. I don’t believe in the whole God loves you no matter what you do thing, as that makes way for people who aren’t following God’s Word feel like they have a free pass, but I do believe that God loves those who are truly His no matter what. Remember David and how He sinned with Bathsheba? He lived in sin for a whole year and it cost him greatly with losing four children in various ways, but in the end God forgave him and he got back on track. Lastly, pray and read His Word (I know you said you knew this, but hear me out). The more time you spend in in-depth prayer and in-depth Bible study, the more you’ll come to understand God’s character, the more you’ll love Him, and the more you’ll align yourself with what His Word says.

    • Tatiana, I’d like to encourage you in regards to God’s love.
      It’s true that our sins seperate us from God, and yet, God still sent Jesus to die for us.
      Romans 6:1-4 ; NIV
      What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? By no means! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Or aren’t you aware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.

      You are right in that we shouldn’t feel like we can sin with a “free pass”. That shows an incomplete understanding of Christ’s gift to us, we ought to walk in newness of life

      Romans 5:8 ; NIV
      But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us

      So even when we sin, God loves us so much that He sent Christ.
      If anything, He hates sin because it seperates us from Him, but His love for us is so great that we can’t possibly understand it fully.

      God bless,

      • I think it all comes down to the quote,

        “God loves you just the way you are… but He also loves you too much to let you stay that way.”

        • Yes. God loves everyone no matter what, but he absolutely hates the sin. God can do both at once.

          • Question, where’s the Biblical support for the idea that God loves *everyone* no matter what? =) I’ve never seen a verse that says that God loves everyone, but I’ve seen several verses that say that He hates people:

            Psalm 5:5 “The boastful shall not stand before your eyes;
            you hate all evildoers.”

            Psalm 11:5 “The Lord tests the righteous,
            but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”

            Romans 9:13 “As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.””

          • John 3:16
            For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

            He offers His salvation to all (the world) even though He knows that not all will accept it.
            The logical question still stands, would God create someone even though He knew they would never accept Him?
            And, quite frankly, the answer is yes.

            Romans 9:16-24
            So then, it does not depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display My power in you, and that My name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” Therefore God has mercy on whom He wants to have mercy, and He hardens whom He wants to harden. One of you will say to me, “Then why does God still find fault? For who can resist His will?” But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” Does not the potter have the right to make from the same lump of clay one vessel for special occasions and another for common use? What if God, intending to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the vessels of His wrath, prepared for destruction? What if He did this to make the riches of His glory known to the vessels of His mercy, whom He prepared in advance for glory— including us, whom He has called not only from the Jews, but also from the Gentiles?

            So, God uses even those who refuse Him. His hatred is upon anyone who is not in Christ or saved by faith (e.g. Abraham), until we turn to Him and love Him. At the same time, He sent His son to die for the sins of the World, even if the whole World would not accept it.

            To finish, I want to expand upon Ragamuffin’s comment:
            God hates the sinner in that His wrath is upon him/her. They stand on His left with the goats. God offered His son to all the goats, but only some would accept this and move to the sheep. In this way, God Loved the goats (all sinners) enough to send them a way to become sheep, even while they were still on the condemned side. (Romans 5:8, paraphrased for the sake of mental illustration)

          • I think we pretty much agree, man! =) Mind if I ask if you’re a Calvinist too?

            I definitely agree that God calls all to salvation in one way (universal or general call). I also believe that there’s another type of calling called the effective or specific call that brings the elect to salvation. I explained it better but Disqus lost my comment =/ Matthew 11:25-30 shows the difference pretty well though =)

          • Well, I can’t say for sure if I fall under all the descriptions of Calvinism. I try to follow God based on Scripture alone, so I spend a lot of time seeking out the meaning of different passages that seem to defy logic.
            And yeah, Mat 11:25-30 sums it up nicely 🙂
            Thanks for the disscusion!
            I wish there was an easier way to engage in coffee-shop-esque Bible studies. I really live for these kinds of convos.

          • Haha okay! You’re welcome, I enjoy convos like these as well. =) Hmmm have you checked out Revive? It’s a site started by a Rebelutionary (Sam S). It was initially mainly for prayer requests, but it’s expanded a lot since then. We have awesome convos like this on there all the time in a space called Living Life! If you wanted to check it out, it’s at =)

  • James 5:16
    Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

    Psalm 51,
    Just all of it. A prayer of repentance from David.

  • J. I know shame is a horrific burden to carry because I have felt it myself and I have found that when I confessed to God about what I have done or have done it made me feel just a little bit more human. God is ready and willing to take your shame J. He loves you with all his heart. He beared the shame on the cross for us so that we may have everlasting life…. So I urge you to give and leave your shame with Him. Don’t let shame control your life give it to God and leave it behind… For good. I hope this helps and I will be praying for you!

  • Great thoughts. As to shame, I don’t think God wants us to feel that way. He does want to convict us and help us change but that is different than shame. He loves no matter what. If we confess, he will forgive, and cast the sin as far as the east is from the west. His grace is greater than anything you or I can ever do. When we are forgiven, we still face the consequences of sin, but we can again live in HIS freedom.

  • If you are working hard and doing the best you can, then there is nothing to feel ashamed of. But if you have the means to do better, but are choosing not to, then you have a reason to feel shame.

  • Listen to what everyone else on this thread has said, and to it I would only add this: Find a mentor. Find someone at church or a trusted, Godly adult who will help you through your sin and shame, who will keep you accountable, and who will remind you that you are above all God’s child, loved and adored by Him.

  • J., if you’re truly saved, then God has forgiven you. Think about that…

    God, bearer of an perfectly holy standard that no human can achieve, has forgiven *you* because of Jesus’s perfect sacrifice on the cross. No matter what you’ve done (and we’ve all done some awful awful stuff trust me), there is no need for shame because you are forgiven! The slate has been wiped clean and one day you will stand righteous before God! =)

  • If you have accepted God’s free gift of salvation through His son, Jesus Christ, you are forgiven and sinless in the eyes of God. Jesus died to take away your shame.

    You said you already know that, and want practical advice. Here’s mine: find a good Christian mentor who will keep you accountable. This is one of the most humiliating things you could do, and that is a good thing, for it would be attacking the problem at it’s roots. Shame is a good thing, for without it we could not grasp the importance of what Jesus did on the cross for us and how big God’s patience is, and it may also be your God-given conscience speaking to you and pointing out your sin. God, in his perfectness, cannot stand sin and will always be working on you like a potter would work on clay. But shame can also be (or can give birth to) a demonstration of self-pity, which is a form of pride. God gives grace to the humble, but he opposes the proud. Let God make you what He wants you to be. That is done through prayer, study of His word and obedience to Him. Reading the Bible, or even studying it, will not be of any help if you don’t let yourself be transformed by it. Same as prayer will not be of much help if it is a monologue of demands. If you look at the Lord’s prayer, you’ll notice how small a proportion of the prayer actually is asking something for yourself. We humans have a tendency to always be asking (rather “demanding”) things for me, myself and I, when that isn’t exactly what God wants.

    I hope this was helpful, and I invite you all to verify what I wrote, just like the Bereans, to see if it is theologically correct.

    I’ll be praying for you.

    The Bean

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  • I am sure that everything I will say has already been said, but I’ll say it anyway. The bible says that when we confess our sins and bring them to light, they no longer have a strong hold on us. We still struggle, but it is no longer in control of us. Remember, “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I AM A CHILD OF GOD” you don’t have to dwell in the shame. I’m trying to learn this myself. When Jesus died, he took all of your sins and your shame. He bore it all. I think it is important to remember that God has forgiven us and that we have to move on too.
    Hope this helps! I’m in the same boat!

  • Remember that Christ died for YOU. If it came down to it, He would gladly do it again for you, and you alone. He has felt this pain before, He knows what you’re experiencing. The Bible talks about everyone will be resurrected like Christ, and we will all be perfect, no blemishes, sickness, illness, disabilities, nothing. If that is the case, why do you think Christ was resurrected with the nail prints in his hands and feet? He keeps those as a reminder of our worth. He keeps the scars on his hands and feet to prove to us that He will never turn His back on us and that He will always love us.
    God loves you. You are His child–a special spirit sent to this earth at this time for a very specific purpose that no one else can fulfill but you. You have lives to touch, people to love, friends to make. Don’t let one decision pull you down. Think of what you have to offer to this world.
    As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Courage, dear heart.”

  • I’m Sebastian venable. I have definitely had my share of shame and guilt in my life. Shame is there for a reason. God have it to us to let us know what we should and shouldn’t be doing. Shame is a beast that no one but you with God’s help can slay. You are the knight but for is your muscle and armor and sword. If you do something wrong shame is definitely going to be there some where. But know that for had forgiven you and don’t dwell on it. Live on and don’t make that mistake again. And know this isn’t coming from a goody two shoes. It is coming from a kid with a lot of sin and guilt. And yes tons and tons of shame. My advice friend. Is lean on somebody you can and want to trust. I want you to know I care and am praying for you.

rebelling against low expectations

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