Tenth Avenue North has an awesome song, You Are More. You are more than what you do.
What you do doesn’t define who you are.
Struggling with Who You Are is a Battle with Shame
When you believe doing defines who you are, you’ll suffer from shame.
I started my book, Confident Identity, with the following description of shame:
Shame is the deep-down sense that who you are is defective and worthless and therefore, you aren’t needed or wanted by anyone. Shame is a problem of epidemic proportions. All who struggle with it become isolated from the cause and the cure: relationship. Relationships have the potential to affirm or to reject who you are.
Shame can come to life when someone has done something wrong to you or you’ve done something wrong. Shame lingers when you haven’t received forgiveness and acceptance. Abuse, getting what you don’t need, and neglect, not getting what you do need, aggravate your need for acceptance.
Accepting Who You Are Cultivates a Confident Identity
God accepted Mary and He accepts you no less. He accepts you because of Christ’s sacrifice, no doubt. But He also accepts you because of who you are – who He made you to be – not what you’ve done.
And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Emotional health requires the ability to separate out the results of wrongdoing (guilt and shame) from the benefits of unconditional love (peace and confidence).
For all Christians, guilt and shame should be temporary and acceptance should be eternal. God allows you to reconsider what you’ve done and start with a clean slate. This means hope.
Shame thrives without the hope of forgiveness and a new start. Shame is only possible when you feel trapped in a prison cell with no hope of ever getting out.
Make a list right now of what is keeping you in prison. For every hopeless situation, God has a way out.
Nothing is impossible with God. Elizabeth, Mary’s relative, conceived in her old age.
And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Tell God you’re ready to start over with a clean slate. Ask Him to show you the way out. Then tell Him to, “let it be to me.”