Slaying Giants by Rocky Fleming- Day Four
by Rocky Fleming
Five Day Reading Plan
Day Four: The Shame Giant
“Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!” Psalm 25:7 (ESV)
Can there possibly be anyone reading this that does not have some shameful memories that surface every now and then? Some of these memories may disgust you. They do this to me when I think of mine. Some may cause you to shake your head and ask, “How could I have done that?” Some of those thoughts may shame you in such a way that it causes you to ask how God could love such a person as you, and it triggers in you a thought to doubt your relationship with Him.
“Is it built on a delusional lie that I’ve convinced myself that God can love me in spite of those things? Is His grace so thorough and complete that He would love me knowing what I’ve done?” We ask ourself.
Do those thoughts sound familiar to you? Have they floated into your life in some way as with me, or have I proven to you how terribly flawed I am as I share the Shame Giant that has been a nemesis of mine for much of my life? Here’s the truth. If we’re going to face this giant in the field of battle and prevail, we need to go ahead and admit it. I’ll go first. I’m flawed.
I’ve always been flawed, as all of you are flawed. As you, I have made many mistakes. Even though our mistakes are common and bound to happen, I find no comfort in being in the group with you or others with my propensity to just blow it. In my individual connection with Jesus, I feel His love and support at all times. I know I require His grace at all times, which He abundantly gives, and looking back and seeing how His grace was there for me when I made those mistakes, reminds me how undeserving I am. This is how this reflection benefits me. Hence, I feel it is healthy to grieve my mistakes, and in fact deeply regret them. But it gets unhealthy when the “Accuser” puts his Shame Giant in front of me. When this happens, my life then goes from a healthy recognition of the desperate need I have for God’s grace, to a legalism driven by doubt and insecurity about God’s love for me. At this point the battle is on and the Shame Giant has got to be dispatched. So, if you want to know what the Shame Giant looks like and smells like, ask yourself if any of those symptoms are showing up in your own life. Feeling any excessive shame lately?
The more I feel God’s love and intimacy with Him, the more I am aware of how holy He is and how terribly flawed I am. This is normal. But this can play into the evil giant’s strategy if we are not careful. To combat him we must believe that God’s promise of the thoroughness of His grace is true and not an illusion, and the only illusion is the one the Shame Giant is trying to give us. At this point we must hold up God’s promises to remind our self and him who we are, and by what means we entered our relationship with Jesus. If we have any confusion and think that in some way that we’ve been good enough to deserve God’s love and acceptance, the Shame Giant will have us on the run, and we can’t outrun him. We have to stop running, turn and face the giant, and defeat him with truth.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,” Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
Repeat after me. “This is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Then speak it over this shame you feel. It is not your own doing that God has loved you, forgiven you, and adopted you into His family. It has been His reach to you first and foremost. He loved you at your worst times and in your best. He is faithful to you. Never doubt this. Testify before the Shame Giant this truth, and he will pull away from you. His only weapons are thoughts and doubts. What he does is an illusion. The truth not only counters an illusion, it established your victory. The giant will fall, if we will use the weapons of spiritual warfare that our King has given to us. They destroy strongholds.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV)