Overcoming Feelings of Shame
The struggle with shame is a real one. Everyone has feelings of shame to overcome. Overcoming feelings of shame isn’t an easy task to do yet Hanha Hobson managed to do so. In her story, Hanha shares how she overcame her struggle with shame through Christ. Here’s her story:
I never knew I struggled with shame. It’s just something I did.
I would mess up, beat myself up about it (and I mean really beat myself up about it), and then I would move on only to repeat the cycle the next time I messed up or did something wrong. I honestly didn’t know it was a problem because it was my normal and I just thought that’s who I was.
Many people struggle with shame. Here’s another article about dealing with shame that can help you too.
For example, if I got into an argument with someone whether it was a parent, friend, or romantic partner, I would start to internalize thoughts like,
What’s wrong with me?
How come I always do that?
Why can’t I control my emotions?
This is why no one likes me.
I deserve to be single.
I always mess up.
How could anyone want to have a relationship with me?
The negative and shameful thoughts continue
And the condemning thoughts would just continue.
But it wasn’t until I read a random 8-day devotional on the Bible app about the depth of Christ’s love that it’s like the gospel hit me all over again. Every day, I got a small glimpse of how much God loves me. And each day, God revealed how much I struggled with loving myself and accepting His love because of my shame.
Once my eyes were opened, it’s like I could see evidence of shame in every area of my life. I was ashamed that I couldn’t live up to the expectations I set for myself, ashamed when I would mistreat people or when they would mistreat me, and ashamed that I would never be good enough or significant.
There were moments when I would just sit in my sorrow and repeatedly tell God how sorry I was. It’s like I was seeking His approval, without understanding or believing that I had already been approved. And when I think about what exactly I was sorry for, I don’t even have an answer. I just know that it all stemmed from my faulty image of God. Instead of accepting His love and forgiveness, I rejected it because I didn’t think I deserved it. I didn’t think I was worthy of it.
What a deeply rooted lie from the enemy!
One thing I know for sure is that when it comes to our sin, God is not sitting in heaven thinking, “I can’t wait till she/he comes to me so I can fuss him/her out.” Yes, He may be displeased with our sin, but He loves us too much to condemn us. He said that He did not appoint us to suffer His wrath (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
But shame had such a grip on me. Even as I started to grow and break free from its chains, sometimes I felt guilty for not “feeling” bad whenever I messed up. To me, if I didn’t feel upset about the situation, it meant that I wasn’t really sorry for what I did or that I didn’t care. In my mind, I had to be punished in some way.
Another lie from the enemy.
The truth about shame
The truth is we weren’t EVER called to live in shame. God knew every time we would do wrong, yet He already decided a long time ago that He wanted a relationship with us. He still decided to send Jesus to die on the cross because He didn’t want a world without us. He wanted us to know freedom – freedom from the penalty and power of sin, which includes shame.
When God looks at us, He doesn’t see sin. Instead, He sees Jesus because Christ willingly decided to take our place. He sacrificed Himself and paid the price of sin (which is death), and it’s all because He thought we were worth it. We didn’t choose Him, He chose us (John 15:16). When we received the gift of salvation, the Holy Spirit immediately took residence inside our hearts.
So when we sin, no matter how often, we don’t have to sit there and tear ourselves down. Rather than letting our thoughts bully us, we can silence the lies of the enemy and take our burdens to Christ. We can love ourselves fully – the good, the bad, and the ugly – simply because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
It doesn’t mean that we live our lives freely in sin, but when we slip up, we can rest knowing God’s love allows us to approach the throne with confidence (Hebrews 4:16). We can repent and believe that our sins are forgiven because Jesus nailed it to the cross and canceled our debt (Colossians 2:14).
Encountering my shame
An encounter with this kind of love changed my whole life. It was a process to overcome shame, but I’m so thankful that God set me free. And I share my story because no matter where you are in your own journey, NOTHING will be able to separate you from that kind of love (Romans 8:28-39). He is patient and kind. He is gentle and humble in heart. And when you encounter it for yourself, it will change everything for you too.
Overcoming feelings of shame is a difficult process. Hanha went to Christ and her personal encounter with Jesus was the help she needed. For more stories like this one check below: