How to Combat Feelings of Shame with Truth
You know. That gut-wrenching feeling in the pit of your stomach that makes you secretly hate yourself.
The memories of all the times you've messed up in the past. That you're dirty. Or unloved. Or unworthy of love.
It seems there is an epidemic of feelings of shame in our society.
Not to be dramatic, but the enemy is having a hay day wreaking havoc in the minds of women everywhere.
What better way to distract you from doing all the things you were designed to do than devastating you with all these feelings?
What if you didn't have to feel that way?
What if shame didn't consume your thoughts?
There's only one way to combat the lies of the enemy, and that is with the truth of the Bible.
Let's dig deeper into Mark 1:40-42 and see what God has to say.
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed."
To grasp the magnitude of Jesus' actions in these passages, we first need to understand the significance of leprosy. Leprosy is a contagious disease that affects the skin, mucous membranes, and nerves, causing discoloration and lumps on the skin and, in severe cases, disfigurement and deformities.
Because of the close quarters of the Israelites and the need to contain such infectious diseases, God gave specific instructions of how leprosy was to be handled.
“Those who suffer from a serious skin disease must tear their clothing and leave their hair uncombed. They must cover their mouth and call out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as the serious disease lasts, they will be ceremonially unclean. They must live in isolation in their place outside the camp. Leviticus 13:45-46
Once someone had leprosy they had to:
1. Tear their clothing
2. Leave their hair uncombed
3. Cover their mouth and shout to anyone coming close, "Unclean! Unclean!"
4. Live outside the community away from all family and friends.
Not only was leprosy physically painful and excruciating, it was emotionally devastating.
After I began studying about leprosy my first thought was how lonely and unloved the lepers must have felt... And, then, I immediately thought about several of the women in our facebook group who have shared that they have some of those same feelings.
Maybe you feel unloved, unworthy, and isolated.... well, hang on, because there is GOOD NEWS!
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Mark 1:40
The Leper asked for healing
The leprous man went to the feet of Jesus and begged to be healed.
He went to Jesus in all his brokenness and unworthiness. He didn't hide his leprosy.... he didn't pretend to be clean.... he went exactly as he was. He also knew that Jesus was able to heal.
And look at Jesus' response.
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” Mark 1:41
Jesus touched him
Jesus reached into the yuck of this man's life and made him clean. While it's incredible that Jesus did this thousands of years ago, the best news is He still does that today.
Aren't we all the man with leprosy?
Aren't we all broken and unclean?
We may not have a skin disease, but we do have the disease of sin that makes us no different than the leprous man.
"Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed." Mark 1:42
When we invite Jesus into the yuck and muck of our lives, He shows up. And, He shows up instantly.
That doesn't mean that you will instantly feel better. It's going to take a conscious effort to wrap your feelings up in the truth of God's Word. Please remember this, FEELINGS AREN'T FACTS.
You can boldly approach the throne of God in the midst of your yuck.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16
The moment you ask for forgiveness for your sins and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He no longer keeps a record of your past. You are washed WHITE AS SNOW!
"...as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12
That is grace- God's UNMERITED gift to you.
We can't strive hard enough.... we can't be "good" enough... we can't earn His love. But, and this is a really important but.... He died for us while we were yet still sinners. He loves us in our brokenness.
Any feelings of shame from your past are the enemy coming to steal, kill, and destroy your joy.
As Christians, we can walk in that truth. Your feelings of unworthiness are NOT truth. You are forgiven. You are a child of God. There is no shame or condemnation.
What can you do today to combat feelings of Shame?
If you are struggling with shame, arm yourself with Truth.
Memorize Hebrews 4:16 and Psalm 103:12.
When the devil throws your past into your present, combat him with God's truth.
If you need help memorizing Scriptures, be sure to grab our free printable.
God loves you! On a side note, I love you too, my precious sister in Christ!