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The Difference Between Shame and Conviction (and how the devil's lies play into that)



I'm about to get very real.


Lately, I've found myself either running towards God or running from Him.


And sometimes, I'm running from Him more than I'm running to Him.


I'm finding myself wrestling with these really dark lies and feelings of shame. I'm noticing that I feel too broken, too messed up, too angry to come before God. I don't have it all together, and there's a lot of heavy things on my heart, and sometimes it feels really, really hard to bring that to the Lord.


I feel unworthy, like I'm not succeeding or doing enough to deserve to be in the presence of God or make Him proud.


I feel too sinful, like I couldn't possibly try to talk to Jesus after I've been this way.


I feel so mad, because He hasn't done things the way or in the timing I'd like Him to. And it's really hard to come before the Lord feeling angry.


These are really, really heavy burdens to carry. If you're feeling any of the same ways, you aren't alone. Satan wants us to think that we are alone, that it's our fault we're feeling this way, and that we'll never move past it. More lies.


If you haven't noticed yet, Satan is the father of lies. He wants to attack us with statements that aren't the truth, or are half truths, and try to get us to sway from what the Lord has for us and wants to do in us. He sees how powerful and loving our God is, and he doesn't want us to have that.


"When he lies, he speaks in his native language, for his is a liar and the father of lies." - John 8:44


He loves to lie to us, but the thing is, we don't only hear those lies, but we settle on them. Whether we recognize it or not, we dwell on those lies, and before we know it, we start to believe them. We believe that our value lies in what we do and that God will only be proud of us if we have it all together. We believe that God doesn't want to be around us after we've sinned and messed up. We believe that our emotions are too much for God and that we can't come to Him with the messy, broken feelings. We believe these awful, unbiblical lies, and then the distance between us and the Lord begins to grow. That distance continues to grow until His voice feels foreign and His presence is nonexistent, because we've believed that we don't deserve it and we could never be worthy of it. We allow these lies to create space between us and the loving Father we serve.


Friends, this is called shame.


God has not called us to walk in shame. Shame is completely and utterly from the devil, rooted in his lies, meant to destroy us and separate us from God (because we can only be destroyed when we aren't connected to the Lord). Shame eats at our joy and our peace, leading us to believe that we can't be loved and that we can't come to God anymore, for whatever reason. Shame doesn't leave any room for grace or redemption, because it consumes us with all the ways that we are unworthy and could never be worthy of anything.


That is not from God.


God desires us to walk alongside Him, all the days of our lives, dwelling in His glory and grace. He invites us into eternity with Him, if only we accept that invitation. He wants to work in our lives and help us carry those heavy, dark things - because this world is not perfect, and we will have trouble. He desires to forgive us and cover us with His redemption and purity, because we can't deserve it, but we can accept it and walk in it by His grace. He invites us into a covenant relationship with Him and declares that we are His most favorite masterpiece, even compared to all of His beautiful creation in this world. He decided that He loved us so much that He would die the most brutal death to demonstrate that love for us, so that we would never have to be separated from Him again.


That is the truth. That is from God.


God is only good. He never, ever, ever wants us to believe anything that separates us from Him or His love that He so generously wants to lavish on us.


The thing is, as we grow closer to God, we do become more aware of our sin and our flaws. Compared to a holy, perfect God, we are so dirty. That's called conviction.


Here's the catch.


Conviction doesn't push you away from God, it pulls you closer. It says, "Yes, you're imperfect. Yes, you've messed up. But there is grace waiting for you, right over there, and He will cleanse you and refine you, so that you can continually grow to look more and more like Him."


Conviction challenges you in your mess, yes, but it also points towards grace. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit, inspired by love and a desire to become more like Christ. Conviction is kind, not always comfortable, but kind, and always points towards the truth. Conviction's intention is never to beat you down until you believe you're worth nothing, but to lift you up to a way of life where you walk alongside Jesus, love Him more intimately and glorify Him in your everyday decisions. Conviction is challenging, but never discouraging or draining. Conviction reminds us of the fatality and flaws of humanity, as well as the love and mercy of a forgiving God. Conviction is healthy and necessary for growth and maturity in our Christian walk.


Too often, we believe the lies of shame and Satan, blocking any way for healthy, merciful conviction to find it's way into our hearts and minds. But, friends, we cannot let shame win any longer.


It's time to come back to Jesus, run towards Him, and fall at His feet. It's time to remember the million sacrifices He made for us, all because He loves us so very much. It's time to remember His grace and righteousness, and how the two don't contradict but compliment each other. It's time for growth and healing, not self-loathing and insecurity.


Sweet girl, God loves you. He wants to walk with you and carry you throughout all these hard, heavy things you're facing right now. He wants to free you from the lies and chains you've been believing. He wants to wrap you in arms of grace and bring peace to your soul. And it all starts now.


Will you let Him? Will you be vulnerable and accept His invitation? Will you admit the broken lies you've been believing and take a step towards His love?


He misses you, sweet friend, and He wants to be with you.

 

In your journey navigating shame and conviction, what has God been teaching you? Is there anything I can pray for you? Let me know down in the comments below; I love to hear from you!

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