The Holy Spirit heals all our shame but it’s not automatic.
In my last post I shared of how, as a young girl, I was ashamed of my freckles. They made me different from my friends. In fact on one occasion a girl in my class at school, called me ‘Heinze baked beans face’. I was crushed.
The feeling of disgust towards a part of me arose. I tried everything to hide them, get rid of them or cover them up.
Have you ever been in that situation where the spirit of shame dominates you? Experts say we don’t overcome shame, we find acceptance for the very thing we’re ashamed of.
The way we deal this, in my opinion, is to fix our eyes on Jesus. Because when we do that, we find the empowerment to embrace or befriend the very thing we’re running away from.
Is there anything you’re running away from? What makes you feel uneasy? What are you keeping secret from others?
THE SPIRIT OF SHAME
Naaman hated his leprosy and covered it up with worldly ranking. He believed his position could earn acceptance and healing but it was this mask that hindered him.
Naaman wanted God to heal with all his pretense but God wanted him to realise that He was already enough.
Like Naaman, are you hiding your authenticity because you’re listening to the spirit of shame?
Shame releases a cortisol into our bodies amplifying our symptoms and hindering healing. But wearing a mask like perfectionism or people pleasing also causes us to operate from a stress state.
When we feel shame, our bodies go into toxic stress….. Your heart will beat faster, the cortisol and adrenaline will be there…..Shame creates neurochemical chaos in your brain…” Caroline Leaf
This is not how God wants us to live; it’s not his design. Naaman needed to ‘bare all’ before the healing took place.
The more we realise He is the source of our self-worth, those masks begin to lessen. This is how the spirit of shame loses it’s grip on our lives.
THE SYROPHOENCIAN WOMAN
We see God’s desire for authenticity when he encounters the Syrophoencian woman. She initially called Jesus ‘Son of David’, despite having no right to use such a term.
Jesus made out he didn’t hear her. He was waiting for her to show herself as she really is – a non Jew. He was waiting for authenticity.
Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her with even a word.
God is waiting for you and I to ‘take off our masks’. Just like Naaman when he took of all his prestigious clothes, when he entered into the Jordan.
There is no need to hide anything from our perfect Father in Heaven. He knows us and accepts us as we are.
When we were very young children, we had no filter. We cried, screamed, got angry, laughed, ….there was no need to be strong, perfect or good all the time. We didn’t deal with shame because we had no shame.
God accepts Naaman without all the charades. If you remember Jesus radically touching the leper and ‘immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy’. Matt 5.
The leper knew of his condition but came to Jesus with no pretence. Likewise, God is waiting for us to approach Him with no charades.
THE HOLY SPIRIT
The spirit of shame won’t survive when you name it, feel it and yet be on the receiving end of an understanding and a non judgemental attitude: The Holy Spirit
This when you fix your eyes on Jesus, we experience His unconditional love. This is your empowerment to take off all those masks and embrace the wounds that hold you back.
“But shame is like a wound that is never exposed and therefore never heals.” Andreas Eschbach
The Holy Spirit already knows why you’re carrying shame but once it’s out in the open, the emotional wound is less intense.
Jesus went through absolute humiliation when he was crucified. Soldiers spat in his face and plucked the hairs of his beard. ‘I did not hide My face from shame and spitting’ Is 50:6
The crowds jeered and mocked him, shouting obscenities, and watched as he tried to carry the cross. He hung completely naked to his death, in front of all.
He did this for you. For the joy of your salvation, healing and freedom.
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame. Heb 12:2
The Spirit in you heals all your shame. The Christ in you, as a born-again believer, is greater than any mistake, failing, character flaw, weakness or whatever it is you’re covering up.
“God puts glory and favour on us and it’s so overwhelming that it swallows up any shame” Joseph Prince.
He embraces every part of us. He doesn’t wait for us to improve ourselves. You see it’s not really a matter of us ‘cleaning up our act’ or ‘sorting something out’ before God heals.
In my opinion, it’s more a matter of us continuing to grow in the love of God, and as we gain a deeper revelation of his transformative love, our masks gradually get less and less.
Christ makes you worthy.
The Israelites had to deal with the shame of their past for hundreds of years because they didn’t have the Holy Spirit living in them. They had to wait for God to heal them from it.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away the shame of your slavery…” Joshua 5:9
Because of the Cross, you and I are accepted just as we are, true naked authenticity.
Can you imagine the difference it would make if we all allowed who we are in Christ to swallow up any perceived messages from childhood or society telling us we’re not enough?
If we focused more on the Cross and resurrection of Jesus, than any weakness or failing. YOU HAVE ABSOLUTE PERMISSION TO REMOVE YOUR MASKS AND BE YOURSELF.
If we took advantage of the freedom we have in Christ to be who He says we are, our essential selves. The Bible says that when you hope in him ‘you will never be put to shame’ Ps 25:3
I hope you have found this useful, I encourage you to take a read of the other posts on Naaman