In my last blog post, I listed 75 statements about you that are lies. They are statements that are rooted in our shame…statements like “I am broken, dirty, unlovable, not enough” etc. Then we looked at how in Christ Jesus they are all lies. In the gospel our identity is not created by what we do or is done to us – but we are given the identity of Jesus. We no longer have the identity of being a sinner, but the identity of being a saint.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve experienced two things as a result of the serpent’s trickery and their resulting distrust of God. They experienced both shame and guilt. The shame told them something was wrong with them and therefore they needed to hide – from one another and from God. Shame always does that. It makes us hide the real us from one another. We hear the lies of shame and sew together fig leaves to hide from others because we still think these lies about us are true.
The good news of the gospel is that Jesus took both our guilt and our shame to the cross. II Corinthians 5:21 sums it up so well, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” This is the great exchange…our sin for his righteousness. God both declares us to be righteous (our justification) and actually implants the DNA of righteous in us (our new nature).
So what do we do when Satan still whispers…and sometimes shouts…these old lies of who we are in our ears? I used to think that one of the indicators of being spiritually mature was I would not hear these lies anymore. But I have changed my mind. I still hear them. Satan uses them constantly against me because every time I believe one of the lies I am invalidating the work of Christ.
So what do we do when we continue to hear that we are not good enough… unacceptable…stupid…a failure? I think the first thing I need to do is what Jesus did as he hung on the cross and heard Satan flinging all kinds of shame statements at him. Hebrews 12:2 tells us he “despised the shame.” Other translations use the words “disregarding” or “scorning.” I like “disregard.” It means to ignore! And I cannot ignore something that is not really there!
I have come to the conclusion that Satan will continue to bombard me with lies. They will be there. He is the “father of lies” (John 8:44). That is his nature and his key strategy. But now because I am in Christ and know these lies are just that, lies – you know what I can do? The same thing Jesus did on the cross: ignore them!
So is spiritual maturity growing to a point that I no longer hear these shame statements? I don’t think so. I think maturity is growing to the point where I know and trust the truth, and so can ignore the lies. I just ignore them because I know they are not true.
After I ignore the lies, there is one other thing I need to do. That’s next.
PS: In my book, Lay it Down, I deal extensively with how the gospel sets us free from shame. If you have not yet read it, Amazon has a copy waiting for you!!