By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS
“God can’t possibly love someone like me.” I hear statements like this at least once a week in my counseling practice and it makes me very sad. Those words come from Christians who believe God cannot and will not accept them because of their sinful nature.
But they could not be more wrong. What they’re doing is projecting the negative feelings they have about themselves onto God. What they are really dealing with is shame.
Satan came up with a great emotional mind-bender when he invented shame. He knew it would be one of the most powerful tools he could use to keep us separated from God and others. He uses our mistakes, regrets and past traumas to generate on-going emotional and mental distress within us. He knows shame is the most toxic of all emotions and can leave Christians feeling hopeless and isolated.
But that is not the life God envisioned for us. His desire is for us to live an abundant life in which we experience peace and joy despite whatever circumstances we are facing. However, shame will prevent us from achieving His desires and in fact, will drive us away from Him.
But there is an antidote to our shame. It is called Grace. Through His remarkable Grace, we can be free from the darkness of shame and understand God takes our past and puts it in the past. You see, God is not looking backward, He is looking forward.
But sometimes simply having the insight God loves and accepts us unconditionally is not enough to break free from the shame we feel. We still want to run away and hide. But you can’t hide from God. He sees our brokenness and understands it causes us shame. Let’s look at Psalm 139 for the truth.
“If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me, and the light become night around me, even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you” (Psalm 139: 11-12 NIV).
God tries to explain to us – “do not be afraid to approach Me with your shame. You try to keep it in the dark away from Me, but that is not possible because I know your shame and I will bring it into the light. Bring your shame to me, not so that I can condemn you, but so that I can remove it from you”.
This is a powerful message for those who believe God can never accept them because of their sinful behaviors. But once again, the idea that God is unapproachable and uncaring is nothing more than Satan’s lies designed to drive a wedge between God and us. What we need to believe is He accepts us and loves us unconditionally despite our brokenness and sinful behavior.
Learn more about shame and how it impacts our relationship with God and others, as well as it’s effect on our destructive behaviors in the book entitled: Removing Your Shame Label: Learning to Break From Shame and Feel God’s Love. Order your copy today at: Amazon.com or http://www.BarnesandNoble.com