Shame is a Cruel Trick of the Enemy

Maybe it’s part of entering a new year, or maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s good to put ourselves in remembrance of why we do what we do. And at the end of the day, I don’t want my reasons to be a paycheck or applause. There has to be a greater cause to our mission that fuels us to keep on keepin’ on (if you know what I mean).

Yesterday, I created the picture above to put on my computer desktop and phone screensaver. I don’t know any of the people portrayed, but their faces are my reasons for Mirror Ministries and Identity Advantage. I see so much of my former self etched in these photographs — and I remember why.

My Reason #1 (why I help others): Because Shame is a Cruel Trick of the Enemy

What is shame? The dictionary says it is the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc. done by oneself or another. Yep. That’s my number one reason for telling people who they are IN CHRIST.

Shame is real. But the torture of shame is how the enemy repeatedly replays in our mind the things we wish we could reverse. This is why Paul said, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1). To me, Paul could have easily said, “There’s now no [shame] to those who are in Christ Jesus…” and it would mean the same thing. The Greek word for condemnation literally describes the verdict of a sentence pronounced. Or we could call it harsh judgment (specifically against oneself).

If we back up to the previous chapter in Romans, Paul was frustrated with his actions. He said, “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate… I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway” (Romans 7:15,19, NLT). Sound familiar? It does to me. I’ve been in that wrestling match more times than I want to count. And I can even relate to Paul’s final summary: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (verse 24).

We don’t talk like that anymore, but you get the idea. He was ashamed. He hated himself for the things he had done wrong when he felt like he should have known better.


BUT… Thankfully, Paul did know better this time. When the part of him that struggled said, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” the spirit within him that knew who he was in Christ answered and said (next verse), “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. It may have been the end of that chapter and verse, but the Bible is only broken down this way to help us find scripture. The next words of Paul in Chapter 8, verse 1, are a continuation to his revelation about shame and condemnation. “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

Paul made a firm decision to say NO to the lies of Satan. And that’s exactly what you and I have to do too. And it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been saved. Satan is a liar and he is cruel. If he can get us to meditate on our mistakes, he’s tricked us into shame and condemnation all over again. Don’t let him. Don’t fall for it. “So now there is no condemnation [shame] for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (NLT). The feeling of shame will knock on the door of your heart, but you can answer by meditating on the blood of Jesus that saved you, cleansed you, and set your feet on a solid place.

No matter what you’ve done, there is forgiveness in Christ. YOU my friend, are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).


4 thoughts on “Shame is a Cruel Trick of the Enemy

  1. Hi Daphne, I have to write this simply because you’re book helped me to realize I wasn’t such a piece of crap that I thought of myself or my grandfather telling me I wasn’t worth the powder to blow me to hell!

    I can’t begin to guesstimate how many times I have thought, wondered, begged to know; How did Paul get through that over and over and over! You know Romans 7: 15 +.

    For me it’s the rope tied about my neck dragging me deeper and into a cold unspeakable depth over and over again with yet another shame I am brought to remember! I don’t think shame is a Trick ! Rather, it’s attempted murder! Most don’t remember tricks like jokes. Attempted murders one recalls! And you remember & remember and it reinforces it over and over! No matter what it is go ask someone to pray with you about it and preferably more than one! “The Scarlet Letter fades the more exposed it is to Light” It’s something new I am trying rather than ruminating over and over like Paul. That’s starting to help I think. I have heard that confession is good for the soul and haven’t figured that out yet myself.

    The biggest helpful first step I’ve found in years was of course your book. Thank you.Too many things seem to take so long and too long I think. I pray and think yours will help so very many to shorten their journeys.

    Perhaps it’s public confession that is good for the soul … at high noon … then it can no longer be used against you! Then you can finally begin to grow in your righteousness and the shame will begin to fade?!

    Indeed you were a wretched man but finally you’re being freed bit by bit from all that heavy shame being taken off your back! Finally you can stand up. God already knew! =) Thanks for allowing me to say hi! Rick

    • Thank you Rick. When I was in the depth of my mess, I never dreamed that not only would I find freedom but someday I would be able to help someone else find the same. It blesses my heart to hear your testimony. And Iove that quote: “The Scarlet Letter fades the more exposed it is to the Light.” wow. This is so true!

      I’ll also add that I agree with your thoughts on confession. It seems to me, anything brought to the light dramatically loosens the grip darkness had over it. I’ve experienced that myself. Shame, of course, keeps our mouths quiet. But when you find someone trustworthy to share with, the grip of Satan is broken.

      Thank you again Rick! God bless my friend 🙂

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