In order to manage shame, self-examination is required. There must be forgiveness, a willingness to move beyond faults and failures, and a desire to humble oneself. Humility allows an acceptance of imperfections, not only in oneself, but also in others. There was a reason Adam and Eve were told to not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God did not want them to become lifted up with worldly wisdom, which would lead to them making their own rules. The enemy wanted them to nullify their need for God. Their original sin, resulting in shame, has plagued mankind to this day. Those who desire to overcome shame will humble themselves under the mighty hand of God. Humanism, a result of original sin, is fueled by shame and pride. It is written, “When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom” (Proverbs 11:2). Pride and shame are a result of the fall of man. Insolent and arrogant acts will always result in dishonor and reproach. In other words, more shame. Faith that leads to faithfulness will break the cycle of shame. When I began my walk with God, I was tormented by regret, which caused feelings of shame. In prayer, I cried out to God, asking Him to remove the guilt I felt. He answered, saying, “I already have, but you don’t believe it”. I came to an understanding that shame, accompanied by my lack of faith, had me bound. The enemy had no power over me, but he was able to use my unbelief against me. God’s word speaks of things that cannot separate us from the love of God, but shame isn’t mentioned. Shame separates mankind from God by man’s choice. God says His word is even more powerful than His name (see Psalm 138:2). God’s word has all the answers for fallen humanity. A choice must be made to believe God forgives. Galatians 5:6 says faith is energized by love. And love covers a multitude of sin (see I Peter 4:8). The sacrifice made at Calvary covered all sin and shame. Calvary made the outpouring of the Holy Ghost possible. But shame hinders and prevents the work of the Spirit. God promises restoration, and then says twice, in Joel 2:26-27, “And my people shall never be ashamed”. After the apparent removal of shame, the promise of the outpouring of the Spirit on all flesh is given (see Joel 2:28). It is not the will of God for anyone to be ashamed. Breaking the cycle of shame requires determination, prayer, a love for God’s word, and consistently walking in the Spirit. It is a battle we all must fight, but we can rejoice, walking in victory, when we choose to embrace the sacrifice made at cavalry.
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin” (Romans 7:24).