The Christ Who Conquered Shame


by Tammy Kennington


Your parents had to get married. Her words, rife with condemnation and mockery, penetrated my third-grade heart. I felt the stares of the other children. I blinked hard, forcing my humiliation to be quiet. Undetectable. But shame rose fast and unrelenting like floodwaters. Tears blurring my vision, I bowed my head and hurried toward the school cafeteria. That day, every bite of food tasted like shame.


My struggle with shame began long before elementary school. It festered and grew in a home where words were weapons and hurtful labels were accepted without question. I was a burden, not a blessing.


As time passed, a well-rehearsed script played again and again in my head. You aren’t worth being loved. Nobody will ever want you. You mean nothing. The words ran through my mind like a ticker-tape and held power in my life far into adulthood.


Shame cost me. When my husband and I argued, when women rebuffed my attempts at friendship, or when family members unwittingly failed to meet my need for acceptance, my mind hit the replay button and reinforced the horrible truth I’d known from childhood—I didn’t matter.


I wonder if you, too, wrestle with shame. Perhaps it’s a divorce in your past or disappointment that you don’t meet the world’s standard of success or appearance. Maybe you wear labels others have given you or are weighed down by those created in your mind.


An overview of Scripture reveals shame can develop in a variety of ways.
 

  • Shame can result from personal sin. The earliest example of sin-caused-shame is from Genesis 3:7 (NIV*). As soon as Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of knowledge, “their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”
     
  • Friends, family, and acquaintances can heap shame on us. Grieving the loss of his children, health, and worldly comforts, Job needed the comfort of friendship. Instead, his companions accused him of sin, placing the blame of devastating loss on the shoulders of a righteous man.
     
  • Satan wages war with shame-filled indictments. Revelation 12:10 tells us that our enemy “accuses the brethren … day and night.” The father of lies knows our vulnerability and shoots his fiery arrows, attempting to convince us that we are beyond God’s reach—hopeless, helpless, and alone in our brokenness.


But we can discover freedom from shame in the truth of Scripture. Romans 8:33 reads, “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” Self-condemnation, the ill-spoken words of others, and the prince of this world are powerless to overcome the gift of grace God offers His children. Only our heavenly Father has the right to judge, and instead He has justified us through the resurrection of Christ. We stand unblemished and forgiven before the throne, our shame having been cast on the Lamb and absolved by His holy sacrifice.


Shame has been conquered by Christ; our identity is found in Him. Who does Christ say you are, believer? You are adopted (Romans 8:15). You are chosen (1 Peter 2:9). You are loved (Ephesians 2:4-5).


Prayer: Abba Father, thank You for redeeming me from the shadow of shame. Give me the discernment and wisdom I need to guard my thoughts against the lies of the accuser and teach me to trust in my identity as Your child. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.


*All Scripture verses are taken from the NIV.

© Copyright 2020 by Tammy Kennington

 

Tammy Kennington is a writer and speaker who lives in Colorado Springs with her husband, children, and a ninety-five-pound lap dog. Tammy blogs at tammykennington.com and has had her work featured in such publications as MOPS magazine and The Upper Room.

 

This post is a part of our new series called Building Your Arsenal: Truths of Victory from Romans 8. Check out Lauren Craft’s post if you missed it a couple of weeks ago: Finding a Distaste for Sin.

 

Subscribers, comment here.

 

shame, freedom, identity, God's love, the cross, Tammy Kennington, The Christ Who Conquered Shame, Building Your Arsenal: Truths of Victory from Romans 8, Katy Kauffman, Lighthouse Bible Studies

Comments (11)

  • anon

    Oh how I loved reading this post Ms. Tammy. When I became an adopted heir in God's family, He started tearing down all those strongholds I had built up to protect my heart. Even though my adopted family loves me very much, they couldn't fully remove the pain of my childhood.  God did!  Amen young lady. Thank you so much for sharing this.  One day, I may share with you a part of my testimony my friend.
     

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    J.D., I'm so grateful God worked in your life so powerfully through your adoptive family and, even more, through His spirit. Praise God for healing the hurting places in your heart! I look forward to the time I can hear your testimony, friend.  Peace and grace, Tammy

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    This is a beautiful post! I struggled with shame for a long time too, but it's amazing to know freedom from that because of what Jesus has done and to learn to live trusting in that more!

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    It's wonderful when we can testify to the power of Christ's promise that He came to set us free. Many blessings to you, Lesley!

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    Our shame is turned into victory through His love, how wonderful is that!
    You're most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer,
    Bless you,
    Jennifer
     

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    Hi, Jennifer. What cause for celebration! 
    Peace and grace to you, friend.
    -Tammy
     

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    Just reading your first memory of shame brought me back to my first memory of feeling this piercing nausea that I was never going to be enough.  I was very young maybe 3 or 4 when I overheard my mother telling my grandmother how sad she felt when she saw my father’s look of disappointment.  He wanted a boy.  It explained in my mind why he didn’t seem to want to be close to me.  It seemed I was terribly flawed.  Even though I have fully forgiven him and know he is with our Lord today, it is a struggle to know God is head over heals in love with me just as He created me.  This one memory dominoed into many reasons to feel shame throughout my life, but God is able to heal anyone even me.

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    Sharon, my heart hurts for you. I know the Father rejoices over you, His beloved daughter, and I pray His grace will enfold you more each day. May His word penetrate the places where painful words once lodged and begin to heal the longings of a little girl's heart for her father's approval in the perfect love of your Abba Father. Healing can take time, but I am living proof that none of us is beyond His reach. I'll be praying for you. 
    Peace and grace, Tammy

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    Thank you so much for sharing these words, Tammy!  I struggled with shame for years - and at times I still do.  May we receive the fullness Christ offers, which includes freedom from shame!  Thank you for this truth today!

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    Thank you, Tammy! No matter what causes shame in this life, we can rest in the love of our Father. I'm so thankful for His cleansing and grace.

    May 12, 2020
  • anon

    I am thankful, too, Barbara. Shame is a burden none of us need bear because of the love of our Father. 
     
    Blessings,
    Tammy

    May 12, 2020

Leave a comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
11 + 3 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Winning the Victory: A Blog by Katy Kauffman

Award-Winning Author, Editor, Bible Teacher

An editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine, Katy Kauffman is also a Bible study author who loves to write about strategies for winning the victory in life's spiritual battles. Follow Katy's blog to receive bi-monthly posts. 

 

Follow by Email

Subscribe to Katy&#039;s Blog feed