Are You Wearing the Garment of Shame?

Last year I was asked to speak to a stunning group of women on the topic of shame.

Sadly, it was a topic I was familiar with.

Shame has this way of subtly being cast over your life without you even realizing it.

It has a way of weaving itself through your everyday garments. Often, we don’t even realize we have it on, but it’s thread discolors, pollutes and entangles your world.

Shame is the not the feeling that you did something wrong, or someone did something wrong to you, but the feeling that you are wrong, there is something wrong with you, that you are fundamentally flawed.

Shame is a dead end road and it is the very antithesis of the truth, hope and redemption revealed in gospel.

Like every dark and ill-fitting garment that seeks to cover the beauty and color of who we are, shame gains its access to us through lies.

The enemy of our soul lies to us in a moment of our own failure or sin, or in a moment of abuse, neglect, mistreatment, or rejection by others, and tells us that there is something wrong with us. That we are intrinsically unlovable, fundamentally flawed.

He offers us the dark cloak of shame, and unknowingly we often take it and put it on. Thinking it will hide us and cover us. Thinking we have no choice but to wear this dreary garment. Believing the lie that it is part of who we are.

And yes it does hide us and cover us. It hides us and covers us from the light. From the light of truth and freedom. It hides us from others, from healing, from community, from love and from acceptance.

This cloak is also long, and it trips us up as we take steps forward.

I remember the moment I stripped it off. I remember the flood of light. The flood of freedom. The flood of unconditional love, acceptance, righteousness and power.

I was 24, and I realized that what had happened to me, was not who I was. The only one with the power to define who I was, was the one who created me, who birthed me into existence, who ordained my days, and prepared my future. I stripped off shame and stepped into truth, freedom and authority.

But, oh how that garment loves to throw itself over us again and again. When trouble or challenge comes, the enemy offers the cloak, and says it’s your fault, it’s because of you, there is something wrong with you.

The worst thing is when we don’t even recognize the lie. We just wear what others throw on us, and fail to choose our own wardrobe.

I don’t know about you, but I am not one just to accept the latest fashion trends just because!!

I wear clothes that I love, clothes that are beautiful, clothes that reflect who I am, not the clothes that society define as cool at any point in time.

I would not just accept a garment thrown over me by just anyone.

Only by someone who loves me, knows me, recognizes the uniqueness of who I am, and chooses clothes accordingly.

It is the same spiritually, so many of us wear whatever garment is cast on us, rejection, shame, unworthiness. And we walk around with ill-fitting garments, not realizing that we have power over our own wardrobe.

Shame is never handed to us by our creator, in fact the opposite – He is intent on taking it away, and replacing it with His radiance.

So I look to Him again today and dress from His custom made wardrobe full of beauty and grace.

Shame is left on the floor, with all the other lies and half-truths, and I step out clothed in the truth found in His word. Radiant in the reflection of the Son, clothed in Him.

“Those who look him are radiant; their faces are never covered in shame” Ps 34:5

Looking to Him with you today.

Kirrily xx

Phil Houghton