Last week we looked briefly into how shame is planted into our lives. We chatted about what shame looks like, and how shame becomes internalized. Today, let’s just look ahead at our healed self, what does shamelessness really look like.
It is worth explaining, because to someone who is shame based, they really have no idea what it feels like, or looks like to be shameless, and also, like in my case, anytime you step out into a situation with confidence, your shame tells you that you are an imposter, a fake, or you are prideful.
Today I have 5 characteristics of what living shameless is really like, and I want you to begin to picture yourself there, and celebrate if you already have accomplished it.
We talked the other day about the difference between healthy and unhealthy shame, so in reference for today, know that I am talking about being shame less in a healthy way, not a psychopathic, with little remorse kind of way.
What do you think it looks like to live without unhealthy shame?
1. You are open to being perfected –
To a person filled to their toes with shame there can be several ways they respond to correction, or in this case perfection. Either through acting perfect and resisting correction, so no one sees their truth. Or obsessively trying to “better” themselves, through endless repentance over their imperfections.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
In Philippians 1:6 Who does it say will perfect us? Ourselves or God?
How does it describe the work being done in you?
God does not begrudgingly rebuke and fix, rebuke and fix. HE loves you, He is a creator and He loves to shape, refine and perfect his children, because His work is good. Imperfection is not seen as a character flaw to someone who is shameless. It is seen as an opportunity to grow. Also, to a shameless person, they are at peace to allow God to nudge the change and perfect them, not always digging for it.
2. They really love themselves. PRIDE ALERT! PRIDE ALERT!!!! If you are shameless you would have nodded your head, yes, love yourself, yes. If you are filled with shame, your reaction may have been to cringe and proclaim pride! I am going to let David deal with this lie.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Psalm 139: 13-15 (ESV)
Let’s dissect this verse…
Who formed us?
What was David’s response to knowing he was made by God?
How was David made?
How did David describe God’s work?
Living shameless is to love ourselves, to see ourselves as wonderfully made, and a product of God’s good work. Pride (and insert excessive selfie postings) is feeling that you are significant above all else. Shamelessness, tells you that you are significant because God is above all else.
3. They confidently go to God for everything. This has always been a hard one for me, because to a shame based person, your requests to God are a nuisance. “Oh it’s him again?”, is how we think God responds to us and our small, and tedious requests. This could be our inner view of God because that is how we were responded to as a child. “What NOW?!” our parents yelled at us, because we had interrupted them 100 times. (insert guilty as charged in the parenting department). To a shameless person, they approach God with confidence that says “I have freedom to go to God for anything, and He has to listen to me, because He is my DAD!”
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrew 4:16
Shame based people will often believe they are going to the throne of judgment, but what does Hebrew 4:16 say? What throne do we draw near to?
What will we receive when we draw near?
Changing our view on God when we go to Him, will not only increase how often we seek Him, but it will also increase the mercy and the grace He promises to us.
4. They feel they belong. A shameless person feels they are a part of something, not apart from something. Shameless people feel that they are a part of the bigger picture. A part of community, a part of their circle of friends, a part of their family. A shame based person feels like an outsider, an observer, or what we term the black sheep. Sure, some groups of people we just do not fit into, no matter how hard we try. However, a shame filled person can feel that in every circumstance, even in groups of people who share their exact likes and interests, or their work place, and even the church. Shame filled people always feel like they just don’t fit. Where as a shameless person feels a sense of belonging because they love themselves and know that their differences does not exclude them from belonging.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:13
What would be some of the difference between a Jew to a Greek? Or a slave to a free person?
What one things unites us all?
We are all what in Jesus Christ?
Learning to love ourselves and have peace in our uniqueness, helps us to know that we have something to offer to others. We become a contributor, and not only that, but when we love ourselves and our uniqueness, we love others and theirs as well. This is true unity. Slave or Free, we are all of one spirit.
5. Have balanced Boundaries Shame filled people are swingers. They can go to the extreme of having zero boundaries, letting people walk all over them, giving away their body like free candy, and never saying no. The other swing is by having so many walls and personal rules up that they make themselves untouchable. To a shameless person their boundaries are like a walled city, with a large front gate. They are protected enough that people don’t come in and vandalize and rob, but they have an open door policy through the gate. Shameless people know how to give when they don’t feel like it, and they know how to say no when they feel guilty.
He strengthens the bars of your gates, and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. Psalm 147:13-14
Where do your Boundaries lie? Which side do you tend to swing to?
Do not feel overwhelmed if you feel you have a long way to go now that we have looked at what being shameless looks like. Remember point #1, lets start there and look forward to God perfecting us, versus feeling ashamed of how far we have to go.
Next topic- Healing the Child