The Shame Monster

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Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. —Romans 8:1

The reason it is so hard for us to admit to the secrets hidden in our hearts is that we’re ashamed of them. We think that if we keep denying our ugly stuff, then maybe we’ll look better than we fear we actually are. We keep it a secret. And those secrets can fester and swell until they consume our happiness and our hope. No matter how carefully we guard the secrets, no matter how creatively we scramble in our efforts to look good, we still suffer from that deep-seated sense of shame and will do almost anything to avoid it.

But here’s an important truth: shame is not what we do; it’s who we perceive ourselves to be.

Shame is a core indictment of our very essence. But when our secrets become too powerful, shame becomes an identity, a state in which we feel different, despairing, and helpless. It then creates an interior environment in which the balance is lost between the healthy shame and unhealthy shame. This kind of unhealthy shame indicates that we’ve lost our true identity and value as God’s creation whom He called into being out of love and with pleasure.

In spite of the preaching of grace, shame is still an imperious presence in many of our hearts and our churches today. The good news is there is a cure for imperfection that leads to shame, which causes us to live in denial and fear.

The cure begins when we open our hearts to the light of God’s love—and share what’s hidden in that dark, secret corner.

Jesus, help me to remember that my identity is in You. Thank You that you have paid for my sins on the cross and I am now free to serve You with joy. When I am overtaken by shame, help me to remember Your words: “It is finished.” Amen.

Excerpted with permission from Daily Gifts of Hope: Devotions For Each Day Of Your Year by Women of Faith, copyright Thomas Nelson.

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Your Turn

Are you constantly being harassed by The Shame Monster? Take this in today — your true value and identity are in Christ Jesus who already paid for your life with His own! Who is a safe person in your life? Who can you talk to about the hidden, dark secrets? Come join the conversation on our blog about getting rid of The Shame Monster and resting in the forgiveness of Jesus. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Marilyn Meberg

Speaking to audiences around the country for over 30 years, Marilyn spent 17 years as a core speaker at the Women of Faith conferences and was one of the original four speakers when the organization began in 1996. Never one to avoid the hard questions of life, Marilyn Meberg shares the wisdom she’s gained from two master’s degrees and a private counseling practice. She is the author of more than 12 books, including Constantly Craving, Love Me Never Leave Me, and Tell Me Everything.

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