You know the feeling.
You just did something you promised you’d never do. But there it is. Maybe no one sees it but you.
Regret sets in. Guilt tangles. Shame follows.
This puts us at a crossroads.
When you find yourself wrestling with shame, the following can help lead you out of shame and into a changed heart.
What triggered my action/reaction?
Crazy, but we often focus on the obvious. Like, I did that because it felt good. Or I was so angry. But there’s usually something deeper. Something that needs to be recognized and addressed.
Maybe you don’t have the answer for that. Talking to a counselor can help. Talking to a friend who is wise and whose life you respect can offer clarity. But it begins with going deeper. Asking the harder questions. Being willing to go beyond the action/reaction to find that place that needs healing.
For you are worth fighting for, friend.
What can I do differently next time?
“People don’t plan to mess up their lives. They just don’t plan not to.” Andy Stanley
Once you begin to understand those trigger points (this takes time and that’s okay), make a plan. Write it down. Think it through.
Start to live it daily.
When you miss the mark, get back up and start over again.
For you are worth fighting for, friend. You are worth the hard work. The falling down and getting back up. Eventually you’ll be stronger, wiser. Keep going.
Ask for forgiveness
Many people say that we should forgive ourselves, but honestly that’s not what scripture says. It points to a place of mercy so rich and so great that our sins are cast as far as the East is from the West.
Tell God how you feel. Ask Him for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and a fresh slate.
For you are worth fighting for, friend. Jesus stepped into the ultimate battle with you on his heart.
Make it right
Tell that person you are sorry. Then take it one step further.
Make that wrong right, if you can.
Maybe that person isn’t ready to forgive you yet, but that’s not why we forgive. That makes it about us. Do what is right while trust rebuilds and healing takes place in their heart, as well as your own.
For not only are you worth fighting for, friend, but so are they.
To live free: Exchange shame for a changed heart (transformation)
Scripture: 1 John 1:9
Just You and God: Has regret or shame been hanging over your head? It’s a feeling that signals that something needs changed within you. Let that lead you to mercy and back to who you really are.
In today’s More Than Small Talk podcast, “Shameless,” Holley, Jennifer, and I define what shame is and how to walk in something healthier and more life-changing. To listen, check out all the apps and options here.
Sometimes we don’t have the words to pray, especially when we feel shame.
Download this beautiful 5 Prayers printable. (Just for you. <3)
Thank you for this. Praying this for prodigals. It seems sometimes they believe they have done the unforgivable or are to far gone even when friends and family are waiting with open arms to welcome them. I think of the prodigal son in the Bible. The father didn’t go chasing. He didn’t shut the son out. The son shut him out. He waited for the son to come home. I pray for those hurting with shame and guilt that they would allow the Father to wash over them and be renewed in His mercy and grace. And for those who love someone battling shame, addiction, anything that has a stronghold that keeps them from loving themselves and others. It is hard to carry shame. It is hard to love someone who carries shame not because of what they did but because your heart hurts for them knowing there is freedom available. Hope this makes sense and speaks to someone whose heart is hurting because of someone they love.