Blog Post by Sister Diane Foster
Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Concealing shame is as bad as concealing a transgression. Not prospering here relates to failure to grow spiritually and into a spiritually whole person.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
I repented of my sins years before I confessed them because I was still holding on to shame. I believe my shame was bedded in a mix of inherited shame, individual shame, incessant shame, imposed shame, and institutional shame. Yes, my shame came from a mixture of all these. Adding to this pride and I became a prisoner locked in a jail with doors wide open. Satan had me gripped in fear, afraid to let it be known that he was the source of my captivity. I was too ashamed to tell.
Pride can hold us back from confessing what caused us shame. Do not let this happen to you!
When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom. (Proverbs 11:2) (NKJV)
For the Lord God will help me; therefore, shall I not be confounded [confused, should I, or shouldn’t I ?, emphasis added]: therefore, have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. (Isaiah 50:7) (KJV)
Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. (Isaiah 54:4)
Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance, and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. (Isaiah 61:7)
When we break free of shame humiliation ceases and we begin to breathe the breath of Yah as He intended, giving life back to the weary soul.
Yah is merciful and full of grace He is forever mindful to forgive us. When we know we are forgiven, though the battle scars may remain, we can now walk in honor and dignity, in grace and mercy of AbbaYah.
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
Repentance denotes a change of condition. It means to change the mind, to relent, to stop that old behavior. Repentance involves regret or sorrow, accompanied by a true change of heart toward Yahweh.
It is important to grasp this concept because a person can say they are sorry and do not genuinely mean it. To repent and to live in a repentant state is the key to moving towards becoming free of shame. Remember, shame enters through others as well as from within. It is what we do, or how we handle shame that will depend on our need and level of repentance. I will say more about this shortly.
The Psalmist wrote:
I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow Your laws. Psalms 119:59
This is the beginning of the restorative process. We wake up and begin to think about what we have done wrong or wrong done to us that we no longer wish to carry or be stigmatized by it. Whether it be an unwanted pregnancy resulting in abortion, addictions, or incarceration, we become fed up with carrying the burden. Our burdens are what Yahusha wants from us.
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavily burdened and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
He tells us here that He knows our labor of carrying shame, but He quickly adds He will give us rest.
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:29
Farmers put yokes around the neck of their beasts of burden to guide them as they plow and carry heavy loads. The yoke is in place to keep the animal moving in the right direction. As long as we are yoked to Yahusha we can rest knowing we are being moved in the right direction. This is healing for the soul.
Matthew 11:30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
We are never told there is no need to be yoked. We need the yoke or else we can easily lose focus of our goal to guard being entrapped into that place again. The burden will be there, as noted shame can leave the individual with emotional, financial, or any array of battle scars, but these are nothing compared to the rest we receive as we are being led by Yahusha, for He said His burden is light.
Yahshua tells us in Matthew 3:8 Let your change of heart (repentance) be seen in your works.
It is possible to repent to self.
Self-forgiveness can be daunting. For me, I changed my life by realizing that by doing so shame would no longer control my walk in Yah. Like the prodigal son, I came out from the stigma. Some may think that repentance is mostly about feelings, especially feeling sorry. It is good to feel sorry about your past deed but repent is not a “feelings” word only. It is an action word. Repentance speaks of a change of direction, more than sorrow in the heart. It also takes the grace of Yahuah.
Whether shame is entered during childhood or placed on you by others by saying you are not good enough, etc., or imposed by societal shame such as physical characteristics, gender, race, creed, or color it is the way we deal with it that AbbaYah is concerned with. He doesn’t want us harboring feelings of worthlessness, living in silence, not being free, or not being spiritually prosperous in Him. Remember Yahusha came to deliver us from the prison of silence.
Even while living a productive life (school, work, marriage, raising a family), our hearts can be inflicted with shame leaving us in isolation and we feel too ashamed to dare express the misery. The individual may be suffering in a vacuum, alone. Yahusha came to break such bondages. He understood how we suffer in shame. He understood what the prodigal son must have felt when waking up in shame and returned to his father. Something, however, is required of us and that is to put our trust in Him. We must take the step. His hand is stretched outwards meaning the Believer must take hold of it. As Scripture teaches us:
Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. (Romans 10:11)
When Yahuah’s grace and mercy have caused us to wake up and we begin realizing that something must be done, that we must break free from the unnecessary bondage, He begins to lead and guide us more into the knowledge of Him. Here, we begin to humble ourselves before Him. Peter understood this concept when he said:
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of Yahuah, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7
For the brokenhearted, for those who live in a vacuum suffering emotionally in isolation, it may be daunting, or even overwhelming at first to understand that Yahusha suffered shame so we wouldn’t have to. You are familiar with “He bore our sins.” Remember Yahusha said His burden was light. Whether shame results from within the individual, incessant, imposed, or institutional shame Yahusha took them upon Himself so we wouldn’t have to. We are told to cast our burdens on Him.
Now the hurting has awakened to their condition. They have repented by admitting their shame, they have prayed, asked for forgiveness, and have even confessed. Being full of grace and mercy He is quick to forgive. Keep in mind that AbbaYah always requires something of us.
For if you forgive others their trespasses [their reckless and willful sins], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others [nurturing your hurt and anger with the result that it interferes with your relationship with God], then your Father will not forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15. (Amplified Bible)
For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more. Hebrews 8:12
What if your shame was a result of something someone did to you, (as mentioned above incessant, imposed, or institutional?
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14
Of course, this does not mean that if someone commits an act against you, they are not guilty of the act. Yet, forgiveness is an act of forgiving the other person even though they do not deserve it hopefully helping them to have the gift of gratitude. Forgiveness is an act of justice and mercy. It does not excuse the hurt inflicted, it says “you did a hurtful thing to me”, what you are saying is “You did wrong, but I have chosen not to hold it against you.” (Worthington, 1999).
Therefore, let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins [shame-emphasis added] is proclaimed to you. Acts 13:38
Yahusha gave Paul his commission by telling him, His purpose:
To open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins [shame-emphasis added] and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.’ Acts 26:18
Yahusha bored our shame:
Looking unto Yahusha the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction [shame, dispute-emphasis added] of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Hebrews 12:2-3
As we are guided from bondage to freedom, we begin to understand the verse:
So, think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So, you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. 1 Peter 1:13-14
This verse reminds me of another verse that reads:
Blessed be Yahuah, even the Father of our Messiah Yahusha, the Father of mercies, and the Elohim of all comfort, Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
This is an outcome of being freed from Shame, we become available to help others learn how to do the same. Many suffer from shame and guilt. Just as many do not understand the difference. Even more so, do not understand the dynamics of shame, and the many ways it enters in. Some are too shame to ask for help, even from Heavenly Father. Some are too shame to present themselves to Him, this blog is for you.
Given to you here and now is light. You have found yourself reading this blog because the title meant something to you. You have read all 3 parts. May you be blessed by Yahuah as He has drawn you to this place of understanding shame. May it bring you or your loved one completer restoration.
 Everett L. Worthington, Hope Focused Marriage (1999). (IVP Academic, 1999).