‘Do not merely listen to the Word… Do what it says.’ James 1:22 NIV
Shame grows in the dark, but once you expose it to the light of God’s Word, it loses its grip on you. Feelings can be so fickle. And often they’re triggered by everyday things like a familiar song, the mention of someone who hurt you, an anniversary, a birthday, a holiday such as Christmas or Valentine’s Day. That’s why James tells us, ‘Do not merely listen to the Word… Do what it says.’ Melody Beattie, co-dependency counselor, writes: ‘Shame can hold us back, hold us down, and keep us staring at our feet… Many systems and people are controlled by it and want us to play their game… Compulsive behaviors, sexually addictive behaviors, overeating, chemical abuse, and addictive gambling are all shame-based behaviors… Our past experiences, and the brainwashing we may have had, put shame on us. “Don’t think… don’t feel… don’t grow or change… don’t feel alive… be ashamed!” Be done with shame! Attack it. Go to war with it. Learn to recognize and avoid it like the plague.’ The Bible says, ‘Who will bring any charge against God’s elect?’ (Romans 8:33 AMP) Whether you committed the offense or the offense was committed against you, ‘the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.’ (1 John 1:7 NKJV) Note the word ‘all’. Instead of talking about how you feel, start talking about what you know! God’s Word, which is God’s opinion of you, is the greatest healing force on earth. So read it, believe it, speak it, and stand on it. As you do, you’ll begin to rise above your shame-based thinking.