Everyone is born with dreams and aspirations. We want to be an astronaut, a ballet dancer, a football player, or a scientist. Children often have the best imaginations because the world is a blank canvas that can go anywhere.
The sad reality for many of us is that we lose that drive, ambition, or desire to dream because of a weight that we have been burdened with.
Shame. Shame feeds us with lies and often prevents us from following after where the Lord is leading. It convinces us of something other than the truth of who God created us to be.
Brené Brown is one of the leading experts when it comes to understanding shame. Her TED talks on vulnerability and shame are a great watch for all of us who have struggled in any way with self-worth and transparency. (“The Power of Vulnerability” and “Listening to Shame”)
She states that the two main mantras of shame are: 1. You’re not good enough 2. Who do you think you are? If we are honest with ourselves, I think all of us have struggled with one of those questions at some point in our lives, if not everyday.
The truth of the matter is God did not create you to live in shame. It was not part of His original design for you and He certainly does not want you to be consumed by it today.
Instead, His desire for you is honor. Honor in scripture refers to the value we personally place on something or someone. When we honor God, we are demonstrating the high regard we have for him. We are reflecting his glory. When we strive for honor, in how we view God, people in our lives, and ourselves, we begin to live into the value with which we were created. It produces in us a sense of hope and “hope does not put us to shame.” (Romans 5:5)
My encouragement for each of us is this: If you feel overwhelmed by shame, find someone to talk to. A friend, a pastor, a licensed counselor, someone that you can process that shame with and begin to walk forward into hope. Remember, “it’s ok to not be ok, but it’s not ok to stay that way."
Strive for honor.