The Crippling Effects of Shame


 “If we confess our sins, he is  faithful and just to forgive us our sins and  to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 ESV 


The effects of shame that we have when we sin against God can be paralyzing—thoughts of hopelessness, condemnation from others, and our proneness to forget the promises of God do not make a good mix. We are weak, prideful human beings who try to cover up our mistakes at all costs when we should be boasting in freedom through Christ. Because of His grace, we are forgiven. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a right place for shame. The feeling of shame often accompanies sin in the life of a Christian. We feel shame when we participate in things that dishonor God. The shame we feel when the Spirit convicts us of our sinfulness is normal and can be very redemptive if we understand this pain from shame is not something that needs to linger. Christians, instead of being crippled by the effects of shame, we must battle unbelief in the promises of God in which shame thrives on. Putting our faith in the promises of God is the key to breaking the power of shame. Instead of hiding, we can seek safety from shame in Jesus Christ who has covered all our sin, guilt, and humiliation—we no longer need to fear. Because Christ died for us, we are cleansed completely of all our unrighteousness. He promises us grace through faith when we confess our sins, and in this, His grace is forever sufficient.  

My friends, stop doubting the promises of God, and trust that His grace is enough for all your weaknesses. Rely on the abundant grace that flows from God…freeing us from our painful failures. When we look to Jesus we find healing and cleansing. It is finished through Christ…and Christ alone is the remedy for the shame we feel about our sinful acts against God.  


Heavenly Father, I confess to you my sin; please cleanse me of all unrighteousness. I am weak and need Your grace. Please help me to overcome my pride-fueled shame and become a humble servant reliant upon the promises Your Word provides. Thank you for covering my sin and shame through Your death and forgiving me. Amen.  

Your Turn: 

Are you prone to let the effects of shame paralyze you in your walk with God? Are there certain sins in your life that you try to hide? Reflect on 1 John 1:9, and confess your sin to God. Trust in His promises of grace, and let the shame you feel in your life motivate you to repent and be thankful for His forgiveness.