Shame occurs when a failure in our performance or a flaw in our appearance is considered so important that it solidifies a negative self – concept. Even when others don’t know of our failure, we assume their opinion of us is poor, and we adopt what we think their opinion might be.
If we base our self-worth on our performance long enough, our past behavior will eventually become the sole basis of our worth. We will see ourselves with certain character qualities and flaws because that’s the way we’ve always been. We then have unconsciously incorporated Satan’s lie into our belief system: I must always be what I have been and live with whatever self-worth I have because that’s just me. Interestingly, we claim only our poor behavior as “That’s just me.” We never hear anyone say, “That’s just me; I’m wonderful, honest, and bright.”
We may think that humility is self-deprecation, but true humility is an accurate appraisal of our worth in Christ. We deserved God’s righteous condemnation, yet we are recipients of His unconditional love, grace, and righteousness through Christ. We are deeply loved, completely forgiven, fully pleasing, totally accepted, and complete in Him. Thankfulness, generosity, kindness, and self-confidence constitute true humility.
Another aspect of a poor self-concept relates to personal appearance. Most of us have some aspect of our appearance that we wish we could change, but much about our appearance can’t really be altered. We not only may base our self-worth on our appearance but also may tend to base our acceptance of others on their appearance, even the color of their skin. We may never be any crueler than when we accept or reject others based on their appearance.
Are you angry with God for the way He made you? Do you compare and rank your appearance with others? If you do, you will suffer at some point in your life because there will always be someone prettier, stronger, cuter, or more handsome. Even if you are spectacularly beautiful or strikingly handsome, you will suffer because you will be afraid of losing your good looks, which you consider the basis of your self-worth.
If we insist on valuing our self-worth by our appearance and performance, sooner or later God will graciously allow us to see the futility of that struggle. The Lord never meant for us to find the fulfillment of our self-worth and significance in the opinions of others. This undeniable, unavoidable need for a sense of value was created in man by God. However, He knows we will never come to Him until we find the importance of people’s opinions to be empty and hopeless. At that point, we can turn to Him and find comfort and encouragement in the truths of His Word! There is absolutely NO self-worth in sexual immorality.
What is the basis of your self-worth? Are you living by scriptural truths of by these false beliefs?
SCRIPTURAL TRUTHS OR FALSE BELIEFS?
SCRIPTURAL TRUTH: I am completely forgiven and fully pleasing to God. (FALSE BELIEF: I must meet certain standards to feel good about myself).
SCRIPTURAL TRUTH: I am totally accepted by God. (FALSE BELIEF: I must be approved by certain people to feel good about myself).
SCRIPTURAL TRUTH: I am deeply love by God. (FALSE BELIEF: Those who fail are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished).
SCRIPTURAL TRUTH: I am absolutely complete in Christ. (FALSE BELIEF: I am what I am. I cannot change. I am hopeless).
False beliefs are all a part of the enemy’s insidious plan. BUT GOD HAS A DIFFERENT PLAN! By now, you should be aware that deception is a part of Satan’s scheme to steal, kill, and destroy mankind. God has His own plan for you and IT ALONE will bring you a stable sense of self-worth. With a godly self-worth comes a new direction and purpose: to honor the One who laid down His life to give us security and significance.
The more we live in the prison of false beliefs, especially those in which we define ourselves by the inevitable shame of pornography and masturbation because we so desperately need to “feel good” about ourselves,
the longer it will take for us to appropriate the REAL US IN CHRIST JESUS.
You have been made into a NEW PERSON! At the instant of your conversion to Christ, you were born again as a new spiritual being. God creates by fiat; that is, He makes something from nothing. Your new birth brought about more than a change of direction. It gave you a completely NEW nature with NEW capacities to reflect God’s image in your daily life, a desire to serve and love God and others before yourself. This desire definitely applies to the lie that shames us every day of our life – the lie that we are what we do in sexual sin. This NEW and godly spirit resides in your body, but it is as DIFFERENT FROM YOUR OLD SELF as a horse is from a man.
Our regeneration was accomplished:
a) By the will of God.
b) Through believing faith in Jesus Christ’s death for you.
c) By the renewing of the Holy Spirit.
d) Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
e) By the Word of God.
~~ The PROCESS of experiencing your new self involves three steps:
a) Laying aside the old self – rejecting the old self’s hold on you, which dictates how you think, feel, and act, and choosing to stop living in worldliness.
b) Renewing your mind with God’s truth – understanding the truth of what Christ has accomplished for you and how that gives you a NEW CAPACITY TO LIVE FOR HIM!
c) Putting on the new self – in your thoughts, words, actions, values, and relationships. This means casting out the LIE OF SHAME AND INFERIORITY.
Time to express the truth of your NEW CHARACTER. Your new self can now influence how you think, feel, and act. Immense happiness and peace awaits all who confess Jesus Christ and follow in His footsteps.
False shame and low self-worth go hand in hand. As mentioned earlier, much of our self-worth has probably been based on our performance and others’ opinions. False beliefs emerge from false shame, and have thus become the primary basis we use to evaluate ourself and the situation/choices we face.
Our beliefs usually influence our thoughts, emotions, and actions – including, of course, sex. False beliefs are Satan’s lies, and they generate ungodly thoughts, painful emotions, and sinful actions. An excursion into sexual acting out serves to reinforce these false beliefs, which supports the conviction I am what I am. We may feel trapped and hopeless to be anything different from who we are right now. But take heart! There is hope! God has made you a new creature.
Yes, a NEW creature! One who has already been regenerated. Webster’s New World Dictionary defines regeneration as “renewed or restored; to cause to be spiritually reborn; to cause to be completely reformed; to bring into existence again.”
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17
The Bible is the inerrant Word of God. What other proof do we need?