Shame, Shame, Go Away!


September 11, 2012 by A Girl Like Me

Last week God was able to use Kelly in a mighty way to help show you His truth on the battle with lust, our need for Jesus and desire to fight in order to break free from the bondage of sexual sin. Like you, I was left feeling encouraged and empowered. So much so, that I myself wondered, where do we go from here? What else could we say that would hold nearly as much weight as the truth that God oozed from Kelly’s fingertips to you? And so I began to pray. I began to reflect on my own past and my own battle with lust and what I would want to be told next if I were you. I’m not sure if what I am about to write is the next step, but I do know it is the thing God has impressed upon me most to share with you all.

If you could see me now, you’d find it quite overwhelming. I’m sitting at my desk, notes with scribbles and thoughts all over the place, books and bibles flung open, and my handy cup of mint green tea next to me so that I have the energy to type as quickly as my brain is moving. See girls, what I am about to discuss is something that I want you to hear, but more importantly, something I need to hear myself. It is something that no matter how hard you try, you will face in this war against your flesh. In some ways, it is a darker, longer lasting battle than the one you will face against your sexual urges. It’s the battle against sexual shame.

It’s been well over five years since my last sexual indiscretion occurred. It was shortly before I began to date Jeff, and probably one of the more emotionally gut wrenching ones. I had barely been dating the guy when my dad passed away. As a way to deal with my grief, I gave him my body. Not even a month after my dad passed, the guy I was dating’s mom got in a severe car accident that would eventually take her life. To help him deal with his pain, I again, gave him my body. Shortly after her passing, he called me one day to tell me that we were breaking up, and had I not made him go do stuff with me, he would have had more time with his mom before she died. I was wrecked. As if all of my other past moments had not soiled me enough, this one took the cake. I was left there feeling like my desire for sexual affection had caused a man to miss the opportunity to be with his dying mother. And though many years have passed since then, I still am pained by that memory all the time.

Shame, also known as self-condemnation, is one of if not the strongest weapon satan likes to use against us. It is the one tool he has to keep us bound to the shackles of our past even though we may have sought redemption in Christ. It is his tool to keep us disobedient to our Father and hopeless in our desire for freedom. The thing is, we often get confused over the difference between shame and conviction. We think, “I should feel bad about my sin. I hurt God, myself, and others. If I don’t feel bad, then I’m not really sorry for what I have done.” If this is what you are thinking, you’re right. And this is where the fine line between shame and conviction is drawn.

“Conviction of sin draws me away from myself and toward God; it frees me to repent, grants me sorrow over offending my King, and floods me with a relief in knowing that his smile still rests upon me…….Self-condemnation, on the other hand, draws me down into myself and away from God. It makes me afraid and distrustful of him. It entraps me in unrelenting self-loathing and unbelief. It makes my heart cold toward the Lord; he’s seen as a harsh taskmaster, a cruel tormenter. It makes me think of my Savior the way I should think of my enemy, and this reversal brings a vicious glee to the Accuser.” -Elyse Fitzpatrick

Ask yourself girls, how many times have you thought the following? “I’m no good. God could never use me after what I’ve done. There’s no way God will give me a godly husband now. I deserve to be alone after what I’ve done. I’m worthless. There’s no way I could ever be seen as pure again. I should give up.” I know that I have, and do still think a lot of those things. Actually, I’ve thought some of them even in the last hour. And this is the root of shame. It becomes all about us and our failure. It eliminates grace and what Christ did for us completely. “Self-condemnation doesn’t make me love Jesus more, because it’s essentially not about him. It’s about me.” -Fitzpatrick

The thing we need to remind ourselves of is that Satan cannot damn us. He doesn’t hold that power, though he’d like you to think so. The only damning thing is unforgiven sin. But remember girls, our Christ HAS forgiven our sins! Colossians 2:13-14 “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”(NLT) Do you see that? Our sin is cancelled. Done. Finished. The moment those nails were driven through the wrists and feet of our beloved Savior was the exact moment in history where you no longer had to look at yourself as worthless and hopeless. You are not damned because of your sin. YOU ARE FREE!! If we continue to walk in the shame of our past and present mistakes, we are saying that Christ is not big enough, does not love us enough, and is not strong enough to set us free. Ladies, I know this may sound harsh, but when we choose to walk in the shadows of self-condemnation, you are spitting on the foot of the cross and saying that what took place there was no good.

But where do we go from here? We want conviction, right? We want to feel the sting that our choices have weight and affect us deeply. We want to remember that the poor choices we make are wrong so that we will strive to not repeat them. So then how do we live in light of the cross yet still in the confines of conviction? John Piper would say that we “Trust Jesus to the hilt with gutsy guilt.” That means that we trust Jesus and what he did on the cross with every fiber of our being knowing that what he did for us, we absolutely will never deserve. But in knowing that, we can live in the hope and joy that His death was enough to not keep us tied down to the constraints of our sexual failures. And then we confront ourselves and the lies the enemy is breeding within us with all the force of a mighty hurricane.

I want to leave you all with this verse. I’m going to give it to you, and then break it down for you.

 “Do not gloat over me, my enemies!
    For though I fall, I will rise again.
Though I sit in darkness,
    the Lord will be my light.
I will be patient as the Lord punishes me,
    for I have sinned against him.
But after that, he will take up my case
    and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies.
The Lord will bring me into the light,
    and I will see his righteousness.” Micah 7:8-9 (NLT)

Let’s first address verse 8. “Do not gloat over me, my enemy.” Like I said, Satan cannot damn you. He takes great joy in making you think he can, so our first response to him when he tries to sow the seeds of shame in our hearts is to essentially tell him “NO.”  But why can we tell him no? “For though I fall…. I WILL RISE AGAIN.” Do you believe that, girl? Do you believe that Jesus is strong enough that when you fall you can rise again? Yes, we sin. Yes, we make mistakes. Yes, it hurts God and us. But no, no it is not WHO we are and it is certainly not the end of our story. For when we fall, girls (and we will still fall)….we CAN rise. I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, but it is time we stop feeling sorry for ourselves and we live in the shadow of the cross instead of the shadow of our own self-pity. Self-pity leads to shame, shame leads to further failure, further failure leads us farther away from the cross. Do you get that? When you fall….GET BACK UP! Why? Because “Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.” We are all in some kind of darkness in our lives. That is the curse of our sin nature. Sexual failure and sin can be the darkest of all places. But what Micah is telling us is that in that darkness, the Lord will be our light. He has not and will not ever abandon us. He may allow you to head into those dark and gloomy places, but never ever EVER will he leave you with out a light and a way to lead you back to himself and out of that pit.

“I will be patient as the Lord punishes me, for I have sinned against him.” No, this does not mean that your lack of a boyfriend/husband/what-not is punishment. No this does not mean that your inability to move beyond your past is his punishment. What he is saying is that the guilt and conviction you feel….you should feel. You need to remember how weak you are and how desperately you need a Savior. THAT is his punishment. Ladies, God is not an evil vindictive dictator who hands out cruel punishment like candy. He is a loving Father, who is wounded and disappointed in his disobedient child. And his punishment is the conviction of knowing we’ve disappointed him. HOWEVER…it does not end there.

“But after that, he will take up my case and give me justice for all I have suffered from my enemies. The Lord will bring me into the light, and I will see his righteousness.” Girls, Jesus needs us to feel conviction. Like I mentioned earlier, true conviction points us back to him in hopeful repentance. So he convicts us…BUT he then takes up our case and issues justice for all we have suffered. How does he issue justice? By NAILING OUR SINS TO THE CROSS! And by taking our sins upon himself, he has thrust us out of the darkness and into the light of his redemption and grace.  For through his death, we are not damned. We are not a slave to this sin, nor are we destined to live a sub-par mediocre life with a worthless louse of a guy. We are better, women. Live in His grace. If not, his death was pointless.

In our gender, this issue is taboo. We don’t talk about it, and so we all live in shame and fear. But not today. Today girls, is our day to fight. It’s time to throw off the weight of self-condemnation and put on the robe of grace and forgiveness. No more anonymous comments on here girls. You want freedom? Step up, say your name, claim what you are doing and then fight. Fight in light of the cross. Tell the enemy “No!” when he wants to toss you into the well of shame and self-loathing. When you fall, hold onto to the redemption Jesus has lavished generously upon you and GET BACK UP! This is no easy process ladies. This is every minute of every day.

When writing this post, Satan confronted me once again with shame from my past. I had every reason to turn off the computer, walk away, and just dumb-down what I was going to write. Instead, I kept typing. And as I typed, I kept saying “When I fall, I shall rise. When I fall, I shall rise.”At one point, I was crying and screaming it at the same time. Why? Because the enemy has not won this war. Jesus has. And so I want to give him the victory. He deserves that. I need that. You need that too.

I have attached a copy of this Micah verse for you to print. Tape it on your wall, next to your computer, on your mirror, in your car, wherever it needs to be so you can see it. Say it to yourself. Memorize it. And like me, when the crushing wave of shame feesl like it is about to pull you under, lift your eyes up to Jesus and tell yourself…”When I fall, I shall rise…when I fall I shall rise….when I fall I shall rise….”

Micah 7-8-9

29 thoughts on “Shame, Shame, Go Away!

  1. Jeannette says:

    I started reading this blog because my daughters are HUGE 10th Ave fans. Of Course! :-)
    I must say yes and amen to all that has been shared so far in this month of “sex-tember”. If I had something like this years ago, I think it would have made a difference.
    Let me just confirm what these young women are saying. Satin is the accuser of the brethren. He only wants to steal, kill, and destroy. He takes great pleasure in reminding us of our failures. I have had a very difficult time, in the past, battling him due to my past in the area of sexual sin. BECAUSE…..It is true, I did do this and that with him, and him, and him. Where could I go to get a defense? I had none in my own right. I was guilty. It’s like one of those movies you watch where the prosecutor has all the DNA, all the proof, all the minute details and lays it all out before the jury. No excuse or explanation will be able to cover it or make it go away. I was done for. Looking at a life sentence of shame and defeat, destined to continue the cycle.
    BUT GOD! Praise God for His love!
    When I came to God broken and messed up, asking for His forgiveness, he gave it. And not just “I forgive you” but “come and let Me cleans you, let Me make you brand new”. God came to me and showed me He really means what He say’s. He really throws my sin, that I committed, knowingly most of the time, as far as the east is from the west. HE remembers it NO MORE! Over the years God has proven Himself over and over again. He has taken my mess and made something beautiful that shows His love and grace.
    Satin would love for us to hide away. Ashamed. We can be “saved” and not do “those things” any more, but shriveled up and useless for the kingdom of God. But God has a better plan! He has saved us for a purpose and a reason! There are gifts that He has placed in side of us that will further His kingdom. If Satin has us sniveling in a corner that plan is not being accomplished! Satin wins…..
    I echo what Kelly and Heather are saying! Rise up! Believe what the Word of God says about you and your life. He has great and mighty things for us to do! Weather that is typing on a computer, raising a ton of children, or speaking in a microphone, if it is what God has purposed for you, it is great and mighty!
    Prov. 24:16 For a righteous man falls seven times, and rises again…….
    Because of Christ and His righteousness that He has given to us! Rise up ladies! Hearts and hands to God, to fulfill the purpose He has for you!
    The women in Luke 7:37-50 is a great example of what Jesus thinks about us.
    Go, and sin no more. No condemnation, FREEDOM!!!

  2. Cory says:

    Wow. This is so powerful, a message I continually need to hear and plan to reread again and again! Thank you so much. <3 I have struggled with lust and shame, but I am fighting and I am hopeful :)

  3. Emily Carroll says:

    Well, thank you for not walking away and dumbing down what you were going to write. And okay, I admit – I am guilty of the anonymous commenting thing…

    Also, I LOVE the Elyse Fitzpatrick quote. “Conviction of sin draws me away from myself and toward God; it frees me to repent, grants me sorrow over offending my King, and floods me with a relief in knowing that his smile still rests upon me…….”

  4. Lisa says:

    another great blog….you girls are doing some serious Jesus talking here, I love it! Def hit home for me when you said that living under self condemnation is like spitting at the foot of the cross…ouch….thanks for being honest even when we cringe knowing we have been there..and praise God we don’t have to stay in that place!

  5. This blog is absolutely the best. And this post has gotten to me and touched me in so many ways.

    I used to do things for this one guy that I thought was ok because my sister would do things for him… I used to masterbate because he told me it was ok and send him pictures of myself and weird texts that I’m ashamed of now… I always would ask God to forgive me for this but even though I have always gone to church and heard that God forgives everything I just never thought he could forgive me. Because I would think about it numerous times.

    Reading that verse has truly blessed me and I now have it as my wallpaper on my laptop. I WILL RISE no matter what the devil tells me…

    Thank You, Heather, for being truthful with us. It really does touch us :)

  6. Natalie says:

    So what do you do when it’s taken years to truly accept Christ’s forgiveness but your husband wants to keep you shackled to your same. He’s justified, after all, because what I did hurt him.

    • agirlikemee says:

      I do not know your situation or all that it entails, but I will tell you this, your husband is not justified. None of us are. My husband could hold me in contempt for my sin, but how is he any less of a sinner than I am? As John 8:7 tells us, “Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.” Or what about Ephesians 4:32 that states “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

      Natalie, do not believe the lie that you are entitled whether by the enemy or by man to be condemned and damned for your past. If you have sought repentance from the Father, you are forgiven and your sin has been forgotten by Him. I would suggest maybe seeking a counselor or trusted Pastor that you and your husband can speak with so that God may have the victory and your marriage can be healed.

  7. Sydney says:

    This is so beautiful<3 theres nothing more i could say<3

  8. rianne says:

    thank you so much for this blog. im still struggling with shame and self-condemnation. it’s really a struggle. also feeling like i dont deserve a godly husband. i just feel really soiled. i am now purer than ive ever been in my life, thanks to the Lord. but i still feel soiled and the devil will say “thats your punishment, no godly guy will ever want you now. God isnt happy with what you’ve done”. and it makes me just cry sooo much whenever i think God is punishing me. i dont like it. I know God forgives and I accept His forgiveness, but the enemy still tries to break me down :(

    • Happy in Nature says:

      I too have often felt that I don’t deserve a godly man. But if Jesus is the Redeemer than that’s the end of the story. I rest in His redeeming quality and trust that He will write a beautiful love story for me…something I can’t even imagine. I have to rest in that hope and you can too. Hope in Jesus Christ is all I have and that’s enough for a beautiful story.

  9. Caroline says:

    I needed this. I have been dealing with big big issues like this. I am still struggling with the past. I know Jesus has forgiven me, but I still am so torn up. I feel like my sins I have commited are so big. I have also felt my head telling me “oh you will never accomplish much” But, this blog is sending rays of hope in my life.

  10. Heather

    You hit it home again. I have been talking with a friend about shame all weekend. Both being sexaually abused children this subject comes up a lot. My friend has been really truning what she feels sorry for totally in to shame for everything and especially anything to do with the abuse. I think this really covers it well and explains it better then I have been. So thanks I will share this with her and hope it helps.

  11. Stephanie says:

    God is mighty to save us Heather!
    I can truly and honestly thank you,for God has used you to get me out of my shame back into His marvelous light.
    You girls always have anoyting when writing.
    You should know God has touched my heart right now through you :)
    A few hours ago I have done something unworthy,but instead of staying there God remembered me that through Him I can gloriously rise up again.
    We may not be worth nothing,but in Christ we are children of light.
    Thanks! God Bless You and Kelly!

  12. Sarai says:

    this is by far the best blog you guys have written!! I love what you guys are doing! I wish someone had done this years ago when I needed it. but it’s ok because i am forgiven. Because of Gods grace I am standing firm! no more lust or fornication! I’m freed from that! & yes it did take a while & I felt the shame & it was hurting me inside but I can honestly say that without God & his love I would’ve been in a much worse situation. I’m sooo happy that you guys are taking time to write these blogs for all the women everywhere. & I pray that this be a blessing to everyone who reads it! God Bless you guys! & keep doing what your doing!

  13. megsnotions says:

    Great blog entry. I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now. This really spoke to me because I have been having those deep shameful feelings quite regularly. The Bible verse you included from Micah made me thing of the song “Equally Skilled” by Jon Foreman. Those verses are in the second half of that song. I’ve always liked the song but your breaking down of the verse really adds to my understanding. I just listened to this song again and thanks to you, it means more to me than it ever did before. Keep up the great articles and God bless. :)

  14. Catherine says:

    Let me tell you a story…

    A short while ago (maybe a month ago) I encountered the conviction of God over not only sexual sin, but over many other neglected areas in my life. It was awful- not going to lie. Giving into temptation did nothing to alleviate my pain. Like the Psalmist said, God’s hand was heavy on me. I did the only thing I could do and cried out to God to forgive me. I was trying to explain away my temptation and sin and God took a hold of me and said He was holding me accountable. I cried for forgiveness (the only thing I could do) and guess what- He gave it. Seldom before has God felt so close and as awful as I felt I would go through it again just to feel that closeness. Like Heather said, conviction brings us to God.

    God is still close, but I’m only aware of it half the time (demands, detraction, etc.). But I changed that night. I have fallen since then I have fought for purity and prayed for it, but for the first time in all my years of struggle I don’t feel condemned any more because of that night. Jesus is the redeemer and I believe that now more than ever. Sometimes I fall and sometimes I overcome, the victories are so sweet and I try to hold on to them and remember my Redeemer.

  15. stebbsa says:

    Its an encouraging reminder that God extends such grace and that we can live without the weight of the shame and guilt, whatever the sin issue may be. As someone who works with teens, the ultimate goal is of course to see them love and adore the Lord, but be sparred so much of this pain and shame. How can we encourage them to wait and embrace sexually purity without making it about rules and do’s and do nots? Just interested in your thoughts on this

  16. Beth says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! This was sooo perfect and sooo needed. I have struggled with much of this and my heart needed hope and you just gave it to me. Heather I will be at the concert on Oct 4th in MI will you and Kelly be there? :)

  17. Rebekah says:

    Over the years I have had many different christian people of different denominations tell me different things about how I should live and how I should act. There was this one thing that my 8th grade teacher told me that hit me so hard and still haunts me to this day. She told me that it was my fault that my sister had not been healed of her cancer. She said I had not prayed in the right way or that I had done something the wrong way. That one conversation stayed with me and I believed her, because no one told me otherwise.
    “Ladies, God is not an evil vindictive dictator who hands out cruel punishment like candy.” I stopped and read this line over and over again. I never thought that God was evil but in a way I guess I kind of did think that he was mean and maybe even cruel, because no one bothered to explain it to me. I thought that when people said we need to fear God, that they meant the kind of fear where you are shaking and crying scared for your life. So that’s what my life became, crying every night scared of what he might do to me because I had sinned. I thought if I sinned then maybe the next day I would wake up and something bad would happen to my family because of my sin. I couldn’t take it anymore, and I didn’t want to see my family hurt so I started to punish myself in a way. By cutting. I thought that maybe if I hurt myself, God would see it as a just punishment and he would not harm my family. Now when I look back (even though that wasn’t too long ago) I can’t believe how messed up my thinking was. How could I think that this God who loves me so much to die for me would harm me or my family in such a way.
    I had fallen and just a few months ago I decided it was time for me to get back up, and through this blog you have given me a piece of your knowledge so that I can stay UP. I got to be honest I am not a big Bible reader because sometimes it just doesn’t make sense to me, so thank you for breaking the verse down for people like me. I know it might take a while for my thinking to change, and maybe it will never completely change but thank you for giving me that step up to trusting God again, a loving God, not a cruel God.

  18. Megan says:

    i spent the past weekend getting drunk, messing around with my sister’s ex boyfriend, and then sleeping with my ex boyfriend’s old roommate.

    then last night i had a wonderful night with a great group of friends, specifically one man who i think is an incredible man of GOD. and i was so ashamed. my secrets came piling out and i disappointed him. so, as i was laying in bed last night, i condemned myself to a life of loneliness. i thought, a man of GOD like andrew could never love me. not after what i have done.

    but although i have fallen, i will rise. i will rise above using sexual promiscuity as my affirmation of character and beauty. i will rise above seeing myself as worthless and ugly. i will rise above the alcohol and the meaningless sex. i will be pure because of the forgiveness and second chances of our FATHER. he has already won victory over the devil… now it is my turn to fight. i will fight and i will claim victory over these bonds of satan!

  19. Laurie says:

    Last week I wrote that I knew God was punishing me for all I had done. How could he ever give me a godly man with all I’ve done…..all the men I’ve slept with, the getting pregnant…..adultery and the list goes on. My heart was so broken, I was feeling the shame. As someone who has only been on this journey with Jesus since March I forget that He has forgiven me for all that but I can’t change what all I did. It dawned on me that God can do even more! He can and will remove that shame if I quit taking it back
    I have so much to learn about healthy sex even at my age. I’ve never had sex where love was involved.
    I have a lot of healing that needs to take place. Getting rid of my shame is a start.
    Thanks for this safe place.

  20. Leslie says:

    Thank you for sharing all of this, very very encouraging to an 18 year old girl struggling to find her worth in Jesus and not men. Thank you for your honest hearts

  21. Janie says:

    This is the day that I start anew. SHAME GO AWAY! I am tired of feeling the way that I do. I am sick of laying my sins at the feet of Jesus but left feeling like I can’t fully lay them there and allow Christ to fully forgive. I have dealt with many things discussed these past days, and I can’t even begin to tell you how unclean, and unpure I feel because of my past. I feel that a Godly man would never love me the way I want to be loved. But because of your words of encouragement, I am done with they way I am feeling because I have realized it is just Satan making me feel this way. I am laying them down at the feet of Jesus now. I HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, a long time ago when I first asked for forgiveness. I don’t need to keep the weight of this sin on my back.
    I have struggled with for so long why can’t God just grace me with a godly husband, but I realize I need to get rid of Satan first, and fully forgive myself, and accept my past, and say no more. I know God has someone out there for me (I hope) and that man will be able to look at my past and say it is okay, he will be like God and take that past, and leave it there, it has been forgiven.

    Thanks so much Heather and Kelly for writing these blogs. I know that it has helped me with my life struggles, and many many others.

  22. Carolina Grimaldo says:

    Thank you.

  23. Courtney says:

    I have a masturbation problem and all I seem to do is fall even though I say I’ll stop..I just can’t seem to find the strength to walk away and start fresh. God I need help. And prayer would be great :)

    • Katrina says:

      I know I’m way late with this, and maybe you’ll never even see it. But I wanna say it just in case. I know exactly how you feel; I have been and am still there. I know what it’s like to try so hard and still fail every single time. I’ve been in that place of hopelessness and wanting to give up. But God says… keep fighting! There is grace for every.single.time. that you mess up.
      Because your Father loves you so incredibly much! He doesn’t want to see you give up because you feel worthless and hopeless. Rather, He wants you to see how much he adores you. He wants you to know that He is in that moment with you, offering his forgiveness and offering you his hand so that by him you can stand again. He will fight for you. You are NEVER alone. I’ll pray for you :)

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