Week 1: Seeking God: The Creator of Relationship
DAY 5: Shame-Free Relationships
Shame is defined in our Thrive Ministry as “people are not glad to be with me.” I did not really think I had a problem with shame until it was defined that way. Many of us feel shame because of the horrible things we have done or the horrible things done to us. However, shame is our experience anytime we are not believing that someone is glad to be with us. This can result not necessarily because we have been abused or had people constantly angry with us as we were growing up (Trauma B – the BAD things that happened to us), but it could also result from not having things in our life like affection, acceptance, assurance, and availability (Trauma A – the good things in our lives that were ABSENT). The opposite of shame is joy which Thrive Ministry defines as “people are glad to be with me.” Listen to what God says about shame and joy and what place they have in our inheritance as His children: Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. (Isaiah 61:7) We can know that this is our New Covenant inheritance even though it is in the Old Testament because it is in the context of what Jesus later said in Luke 4:16-20 was talking about Him.
Settle the issue today. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are glad to be with you! Jesus, through His death and resurrection, paid any and all penalties associated with anything you did or anything that was done to you to cause you to feel shame. He said instead of you carrying around the belief that He is not glad to be with you, He wants you to experience a double portion of joy. Not only does He want to fill You with joy, He designed that joy to give you strength. (Ps. 28:7) Not only that, but YOU are His joy! The thought of being reconciled to you brought Him joy and strengthened Him to endure the cross scorning ITS shame! (Heb.12:2) WOW! Settling this issue, once and for all, sets you free. And your freedom, in turn, sets you up for more relational success because you are no longer undermining situations with the belief you don’t deserve to be loved. When we carry shame into our relationships, we either communicate “I am not glad to be with you” to those we love, simply because we think this is the way to motivate right behavior or because we don’t know another way. Even if we don’t communicate to others, “I am not glad to be with you”, but we carry the belief that “they are not glad to be with me”, we hinder that relationship from growth because we hold back, hide, worry, and fear. Settle the issue! Accept the truth, God is SO glad to be with you, He paid the penalty to be able to reconcile you to Himself. There is no greater love!
Declare, “God is so glad to be with me, He paid the ultimate price for the things I have done. I no longer have to live in shame! In like manner, I will show others this kind of love and communicate in ways that help them know I am glad to be with them. I will light up when I see them. I will express love. I will encourage them so they know they are accepted and belong to my family and His.”
Author of this post: Melanie Connell