Once again today I was in conversation with a Christian who confessed to having felt shame and condemnation over some harsh, hurtful accusations thrown at her by someone who is supposed to love and encourage her. It happens. People in relationships, friends or spouses or other family, can sometimes say things that hurt and make us feel shamed, demeaned, or humiliated. We may hear their words and say to ourselves, “Is that true? Is that how I really am? I must not be what I think I am if this person, whom I love and who says I am loved, believes that about me.” And the insecurity and doubts begin to rattle in our heads.
When we find ourselves in such self-doubting, shame-faced, pained-hearted postures, the devil is using another person to condemn us and undermine our confidence in our identity in Christ! He counts on the fact that we will follow our emotions……the pain, the shame, the confusion….. instead of claiming God’s Word over us and our rightful security and standing as beloved, cherished daughters and sons of the Great High God!
I have used a diagram and word picture to describe this phenomenon. Such feelings of insecurity, doubt and shame in the face of others’ criticism, especially if it is directed against our Christian witness, can be related to a desire to be “good”, “righteous”, or “perfect” in our own eyes, in the eyes of others….. to have a good “reputation.”. We need to turn loose of that need. The devil uses it against us as one of his primary tools. Here’s a post I wrote about it in the past.
So, I talked to her about the need to fill in that dotted line that separated her “old heart/old habits” from her “new heart/new habits” when she embraced Christ and don’t ever look back! Move forward in the full knowledge of the Holy Spirit’s presence and sanctifying work in her life. Tell the devil he’s a liar and talking in the wrong girl’s ear! We are wise to his tools and we refuse to accept shame, humiliation, guilt, and questioning our value no matter WHO says we’re “LESS THAN” they think we should be or even than we might have thought we were. As sons and daughters of God we are accepted, loved, cherished, celebrated, sung over, delighted in, advocated for, held in the same regard as his Only Son Jesus Christ. Nothing will change that. If we are earnestly seeking to be like Christ, we will turn a deaf ear to those who try to compare us to some one or some standard that they determine to be “right.” We will accept the convicting work of the Spirit within and we will reject the condemning taunts of the devil, no matter by whose lips they are spoken! ‘
The Lord calls us “blessed when persecuted…..when men revile you, and say all manner of evil against you…” for it puts us in good company…right up there with the prophets, even with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who have gone before us!
We KNOW whom we have believed, and are convinced that he is able to guard what we have entrusted to him until that day! Do not let emotions inspired by the opinions or accusations of others define your identity in Christ! Stay focused on what you KNOW God has said about you, whom he sees as being righteous and holy because of faith in his Son!
Break the bolo paddle and quit being yanked back and forth across the dividing line of “life before” and “life after” faith in Christ. Live not only free from the penalty of sin, but also free from the power of sin. Live into the truth of WHOSE YOU ARE!