How to Overcome Shame - Part Two Outgrow Your Thoughts

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NASB)

When it comes to our past and the things we’re not proud of, each of us react in a certain way. Some people are so afraid of being criticised that they never come out of the shadows of shame. Others try their very best to create an illusion of what they want the public to see in an effort to hide hurt. At some point, we all must come face to face with our former selves and confront the issues that hinder us from moving forward and overcoming shame. When it comes to progressing in life, most of us are familiar with therapeutic tactics such as journaling, writing a letter to yourself or those who hurt you and so forth. Those things are fine, and I believe they work, but I don’t think it goes deep enough. I believe that in order to move past the shame of your past, you must understand why it affects you the way it does. In order to do that, it is imperative to go back to the beginning.

There are certain things that create very strong reactions in me. For example, I can’t stand to watch people physically fight each other. It literally makes my stomach turn. Aside from the fact that I don’t like violence, there’s a deeper reason for my reaction. When I was about 6 or 7 years old, I witnessed two family members get into a physical fight. I watched a verbal argument rapidly escalate to a full out furniture moving fight. I remember sitting there in shock until a third person came in to break it up as I ran out of the room. Details from that night are still with me today. I remember the lighting in the room, I remember how the furniture was set up, I remember what movie was playing; even the specific scene it was on, and what prompted the fight. My memory is not the best, so for me to recall such details as vividly as I can means that it deeply affected me.

What about you? What’s deeply affected you in such a way that you react the way you do. Have you ever considered why? Think back to your childhood and see if there’s a connection. It may require some effort in remembering, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, you will be able to pinpoint the exact source. Don’t stop there! Now you must go back and look at that situation with the mindset of an adult. Growing up, you reasoned as a child because your experiences were limited. Now, as an adult you are better able to assess the situation. Here’s an example of what it looks like. You are mortified at the thought of being vulnerable because as a child you were laughed at when you shared the wrong answer in class. Your classmates opinions at that time meant the world to you and you hated the feeling of embarrassment. As an adult, you kept that old way of thinking and you reason that your peers may laugh at you just the same. Wanting to avoid that feeling, you never step out of your shell for fear that you may give the “wrong answer”again. Here’s how you reason as an adult. First, you now know that children are immature and impulsive. They didn’t know or perhaps care that their actions may hurt someone else. You also now know that the opinions of others cannot stop you when it comes to moving forward in life. God is the only one you have to answer to and His Word says that you are forgiven. You also know that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Now that you have an understanding of how to change your thoughts, you can go back as far as you need and dig as deep as you can into God’s Word in order to correct the old way of thinking. The things you went through are always bigger than you. Use your past to bring someone to Christ, because ultimately He gets the glory.


The majority of our opinions and thoughts are formed when we are little children. The same is true with our deepest hurts. A lot of pain comes from our past and spills over into adulthood. In the movies, the therapist lays their client on the couch and asks that very important question, “Tell me about your childhood.” Why is that one of the first questions they ask? In order to understand why we function the way we do, or react to certain situations in a particular manner, we must go back to the beginning.

#encourage #whatyouneedtoknow #lessons #future #faith #success #motivation #life #insight #freetools #purpose #clarity #change #hopes

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