Spiritual shame has no grace or love; it doesn't allow us to grow or change.
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Happy Saturday, Friend!

Today I invited Theresa Boedeker to help us identify and fight off spiritual shame. I hope her words, and the biblical truth she shares, will encourage and equip you for this spiritual battle. -Sarah Koontz

If you sometimes wonder if God can use you with your current faults, past mistakes, and life limitations, you may be experiencing spiritual shame.

Mirriam-Webster defines shame as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.”

Spiritual shame is any shame associated with an individual’s spiritual life.

It’s the force that makes us feel like we don't measure up.

It tricks us into thinking if others knew the truth about us spiritually, they would scatter like we were lepers.   

Spiritual shame has no grace or love; it doesn't allow us to grow or change.

We all have trigger points related to our past experiences and upbringing that can cause us to feel spiritual shame.  

Which means what brings one-person shame, may not shame another.

Five examples of how spiritual shame tries to entrap us:  

  1. It holds our past against us.
  2. It tells us we don't measure up to the norm.
  3. It sets unrealistic rules and expectations for us.
  4. It compares us to others.
  5. It guilts us with our privileges.

Spiritual shame attacks our God-given identity. It wants us to forget who we are and Whose we are.

Spiritual shame wants our identity to come from our mistakes, our past, our sins, and limitations.

God wants our identity to come from who He says we are.

He wants us to know we are beloved, and He delights in us. He pardons our sins and does not condemn us in any way. He focuses on our future, not our past, and always tells the truth.

Six things to remember when you feel spiritual shame creeping into your heart:

  1. Know your worth. The best way to conquer spiritual shame is to know who God says you are (Eph 2:10).
  2. Be vulnerable with safe people. Relationships can hurt us sometimes, but they can also help us heal (Gal 6:2).
  3. Don't compare yourself with others. Seek God's approval, not men's (Gal 1:10).
  4. Give yourself grace. And then give even more grace—because that’s what God does (Rom 5:8).
  5. Know we are all at different stages spiritually. Don't despair in your immaturity or be overconfident in your maturity; God uses us all (1 Tim 4:12).
  6. Have realistic expectations for yourself. God doesn't expect us to be anyone but who He made us to be; delight in who He made you to be. He sure does (Zeph 3:17).

Spiritual shame happens; it's part of being human.

But we must remember that Jesus didn't come to shame us, He came to save us!

When you start to feel shame, cast your eyes upward, and remind yourself that God chose you (Eph 1:4).

He forgave you.
He redeemed you.
He loves you.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

-Theresa Boedeker
Theresa Boedeker has learned that shame's grip is smashable with God's Truth. He never shames us but loves us. She wrote a series about shame on her blog and is currently offering a free 18-page guide to help you release shame and walk in freedom. Theresa enjoys people, flowers, laughing, being outside, and doing creative things.
Pre-Register for the JoyFULL Study Today
Sarah Koontz invites you to join us for "JoyFULL," a free three-week study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians.  In the book of Philippians, the Apostle Paul shares the secret of unshakeable peace and unfathomable joy in every circumstance.  Visit our website to learn more & reserve your spot today!
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