If you want to fly, you need to break free from the stuff that weighs you down –
How do I stop being so hard on myself?
In this fourth teaching session by Bill and Wilma Watson, we’ll see how we can stop being so hard on ourselves and break free from inner shame.
In the last two sessions we saw how inner shame impacts our daily lives. I’m sure that you’ve had your eyes opened to the effects of inner shame.
God comes to live inside us to heal us from the inside out. I’m sure we all want God to do that for us! So let’s ask him!
Press play for audio as I pray or keep reading.
Holy Spirit, have Your way in each of our lives throughout this session.
In the Name of Jesus, I forbid the powers of darkness from preventing us from receiving all You have for us.
Remove the veil of pride from our eyes so that the truth of Your Word, Lord Jesus, will replace any lie of the enemy!
I release now Your grace and revelation so that every person watching will be touched, healed and changed forever.
In Jesus name I ask it. Amen.
Before seeing how we can be healed from shame let’s see how inner shame affects our relationship with God.
Inner shame paints a picture of God, yourself and others that’s a lie. This makes it hard for you to accept who God created you to be and to fulfil your God-given destiny.
Satan is a deceiver, and wants you to believe a lie and keep you in bondage. This is what the Bible says in John 8:44 (NLT):
He (the devil) has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Inner shame will also affect your relationship with God because a person with a low self-esteem finds it hard to receive Father God’s love.
I’ve prayed with many people to receive the love of God and wondered why they know about God’s love in their heads but can’t experience His love in their hearts. Also, I’ve often asked myself, “When I share amazing promises of God with Christians why is it, that God’s promises about His love seem to be bouncing off the wall?”
I’ve discovered it’s because inner shame prevents you from believing all the wonderful things that the Bible says about you, making it hard for you to take hold of God’s promises.
Inner shame will try to handcuff you to your past because you find it hard to receive God’s forgiveness and to forgive yourself. Forgiving yourself is a big key in releasing past hurts.
Inner shame hand
cuffs you to the past
The difference between guilt and inner shame
Guilt is a painful feeling of regret for one’s actions. Inner shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person.
Often a shame-bound person struggles with both. Robert Walter suggests:
The Cross Has Two Arms
With one arm of the cross, God reaches out to forgive our guilty behaviour.
With the other arm, God reaches out to embrace our shameful sense of being.
That’s such good news! In Matthew 27:27-31 we read how Jesus bore our shame. Press play for audio.
Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.
A Praetorium held up to 1,000 people. Imagine being stripped naked in front of 1,000 people. Jesus bore our shame that we might share his glory. Let’s read on…
When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
Press play for audio or read what Derek Prince wrote about shame.
We are often deceived by pretty religious art as to what took place when Jesus was crucified. But it’s stated very clearly here, they took all his clothes from him—because they wanted his clothes. Generally speaking, a man in those days had four basic garments.
There were four soldiers, each soldier took one garment. Then there was the seamless robe and because it was such a particularly beautiful garment, they said, “Don’t let’s tear it up, let’s cast lots for it”.
So, if you study what that says it implies that he was left totally naked. Obviously there will be no religious art that will ever portray him that way. So he was stripped naked and exposed to the gaze of the soldiers and all the passers-by. And you find the New Testament in a way is very discreet. It says the women who came with him stood at a distance. The only one who came close was his mother.
Behind that you see this picture of Jesus exposed in total shame. Why? This is the wonderful answer: He bore our shame. He took the shame that had come upon so many of us in so many different forms to do away with it, to eliminate it, to set us free from it.
An exchange took place when Jesus died on the cross
Jesus took my
cloak of shame
Then draped me in a
robe of righteousness
Isaiah 61:10b NLT
Many have asked this question, “If at the Cross Jesus took our cloak of shame and gave us a robe of righteousness, why are we still wearing a cloak of shame?”
That is a good question! Jesus gave us a robe of righteousness the day we became His child. That can’t be altered!
We have the righteousness of Christ in our spirits but a deceptive veil and cloak of shame can lie over our souls.
Here is another way of saying it, by Andrew Comiskey:
Shame is the raincoat of the soul, repelling the living water that would otherwise establish us as the beloved of God.
A raincoat, a cloak, a veil! This is what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:14-15a (ESV):
Their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.
Many of us through unbelief, pride and hardness of heart, have not taken hold of what Jesus has done on the cross in removing our shame so we continue to hide behind a veil or a mask. We hide behind secret addictions, successes, money, possessions and talents.
Do you struggle to hear God clearly? Do you struggle to grasp for yourself all the wonderful promises of God?
Maybe you have allowed the deceptive veil of shame to be over your ears, heart and mind. The good news is: when you seek the Lord Jesus’ forgiveness the veil is removed.
I have observed that, after people have repented and the veil (which covers not only the eyes of our heart and mind but also our ears) is lifted, people hear God more clearly, find a new love for God, His Word, and other people and are now able to operate in the gifts of the Spirit whereas they couldn’t previously.
Aren’t you glad that Jesus took your shame upon himself when he died on the Cross? (Hebrews 12:2) Do you want to change? Are you ready to strip off and throw aside that veil of shame?
The parable of the prodigal son illustrates beautifully how to be free from the cloak of shame.
Prodigal son asks for his inheritance
In Luke 15:11-32 we read of a touching parable, attributed to Jesus of Nazareth, about a wayward son who asks for his inheritance when his father is still alive – a real slap in the face of tradition.
The prodigal son squanders his money living the high life, and ends up destitute and feeding the pigs.
Luke 15:17 tells us that:
The prodigal son came to his senses. In other words he recognised he needed help and chose to come out of hiding.
The first step to freedom from the bondage of inner shame is to recognise your need.
The only people who can’t get free are those who will not admit they have a need and refuse to come out of hiding. It is pride that holds us back from coming out in the open.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks to being free from inner shame is pride. God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
I didn’t wake up one day and say to myself I’m proud, and self-righteous. I couldn’t see it in myself, but I could see it in my grandmother. So, wondering if I was proud and self-righteous, I asked God to forgive her and myself.
After praying, a veil was lifted off my eyes and I could see the pride in my life and other weaknesses I couldn’t see before.
Most people can’t see their pride because of the veil over their eyes.
There are several expressions of pride. Here are just six questions to ask yourself – you may relate to only one or two of them.
We can become so self-sufficient in our pride that we only need God when we are faced with things out of our control – like having an incurable disease or a loved one dying!
If you thought that the questions you read related to someone else, not you, then you have a problem with pride. It’s called self-righteousness! That’s how pride works. We so easily see faults in others and fail to see them in ourselves.
Is it possible that your relationship with God has plateaued because you have failed to deal with your (unknown) pride?
It was brought to my attention when writing this that some Christians struggle with the difference between humility and false humility.
False humility is when you have pride in what you do and when you think that dismissing a compliment, or encouragement makes you look humble.
C.S. Lewis put it aptly, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less”.
In other words, choosing humility does not come at the expense of my own self-worth. If I am responding in a way that dismisses my self-worth that is insecurity.
Putting myself down is not humility, it is insecurity and insecurity is the outworking of inner shame.
Freedom from inner shame and insecurity comes when you remember where you come from, and know who you are – a precious, unconditionally loved child of Almighty God.
The second step to freedom from the bondage of inner shame is to have a change of mind and heart
Changing the way you see things, the words you speak and the way you act.
The prodigal son had a change of mind. Luke 15:18 tells us that he said to himself:
I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you”.
The prodigal son showed signs of true repentance. He not only admitted that he had sinned against God and his father, but he had a change of mind and made amends. Romans 12:2 says:
Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think.
It has been proven scientifically that approximately 90% of our wrong thinking, negative feelings, and destructive patterns, are encoded as cellular memories in our subconscious mind.
Through shame, our secrets doubts, fears and insecurities become buried deep in our souls and are a motivating force most of our lives.
Our wrong thinking, negative feelings and destructive patterns in our conscious and subconscious minds are like corrupted computer files.
Fighting a thought is futile; it only strengthens the connection between you and it. By dwelling on it you actually reinforce it. You have to renew or reprogram your mind – your computer – by replacing the thought with the truth of God’s Word.
King David’s prayer as recorded in Psalm 51:6 (Amp)
Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.
After you remove the veil, the filter over your eyes, God’s promises will become real to you and you can claim them as your own.
In renewing or reprogramming our minds, it brings us in the next session to where we will look at the final step to freedom from the bondage of inner shame and that is to renounce the lies of the enemy.
This is the conclusion of session four. Take a break and be sure to come back to join us. At the conclusion of the next session I will pray for you to be set free from inner shame.
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YDYC (Your Destiny Your Choice) videos and demonstrations have been produced by Wilma Watson. All other videos are from SermonSpice.com.