Since shame is such a prevalent problem, one might ask, “how does a person get rid of it?”
Shame is like a dragon inside of a person that roams around their mind and heart taking both captive. Once the mind is filled with lies, people will worry, get scared, get angry, and become hurt about things they are tricked into believing are true. Before people can take care of their inner self, they must understand the approaches they take to rid themselves of these untruthful thoughts, and their corresponding emotions.
Here are some common approaches people use to get rid of shame.
People move against other people, often the people closest to them. Spouses with spouses, parents with children, teens with parents, employers with employees, ethnic groups with other ethnic groups. It doesn’t take much awareness to see this happening all around us.
Some people deal with their shame by trying harder to overcome it. This often looks like people-pleasing and perfectionism. To overcome thoughts of inferiority, people try to convince themselves that they are good enough; but one little mis-step convinces them that no, they’re not good enough yet.
There are some who try to deny their shortcomings by hiding out. They move away from people hoping that nobody will notice their flaws and weaknesses. The greater the isolation, the lonelier they feel and the more they believe no one loves them.
Some people only find refuge in over-consuming food, alcohol, drugs, sex, money, work, sports, or anything that “fills” them up, to trick the brain in believing that they are satisfied. The problem is that the filling is only temporary. They wake up the next morning to find that nothing has changed.
If the way people deal with shame is outside of grace, it will be damaging and destructive. To replace the lies of shame one must add the truth of grace.
Know the difference between a lie and a truth. A shameful lie might be, “I am unlovable, I am unworthy, or I am a failure.” A person must first recognize this self-talk to be destructive and unsustainable in order to live the life they were meant to live.
Live the life
1.) Replace the lies with truth. A person begins to accustom their brain with new truthful information about themselves. “I am loveable, I am worthy and I have high value.” For many, these truthful statements may be hard to hear and accept, but is a vital step in overcoming shame.
2.) Memorize the new truth. A person must practice to gain proficiency, stating their new truth over and over to the point that it becomes ingrained and a part of their DNA. Neurologists have determined that the brain can actually be re-created. This same truth was stated years ago…”if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” -2 Cor 5:7
3.) Speak the new truth. By hearing your own voice announce your new truth, it will dissolve the voice that speaks lies. The person that you listen to and believe the most is you. Be influenced and speak clearly your new truth about you.
4.) Write your story. The only way shame can stay inside a of person is if they keep it inside. Once they can articulate the complexities of their heart and usher shame to the exit, they can now start talking about their shame and their victory over it with other people. Shame all of a sudden has to take up residence someplace else because it has no room to flourish inside.
Shame works overtime to persuade a person to remember the lies about their identity. It screams that a person is identified by what they do, not by who they are. So, a person must be as diligent in out-screaming that voice of shame with their new voice of truth.
“At that time I will deal with all who oppressed you. I will rescue the lame; I will gather the exiles. I will give them praise and honor in every land where they have suffered shame.” -Zephaniah 3:19
“Do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.” - 2 Corinthians 4:1-2
“Hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” –Romans 5:5