The Relationship Between Shame and Bitterness {...what kind of power do you want to have?}

“I Will Lead Unashamed”

“I Will Lead Unashamed”

Here is what I know: WE have to receive the grace of God. This is life or death. WE have to choose to live as close to God’s Original Design, as close to the garden of Eden as the cross has made possible: lives that are innocent, holy, and unashamed. No one outside of us can shame us - shame is an inside job. (I am not saying that others won’t try. I am saying we do not have to allow it.)

Shame has great power in a relationship. Because the one who can successfully shame - whether low-level shame, or dramatic, intense accusation - that person can wield power over us. The one who can hold up past mistakes or present shortcomings to our attention in such a way as to manipulate us to respond the way they want us to respond? That is power.

But that kind of power is a poor substitute for love. If I shame you, covertly or overtly, into doing or being what it is I want from you, that is a poor substitute for love. God’s way is that we love one another unconditionally.

Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” 2 Cor. 1:24

Even the great apostle Paul, with all his God-given authority, chose to know nothing, to wield no other power, but Christ and Him crucified. He chose to wield no power but what would help the joy of those he served.

Quite obviously, helping the joy of others meant he sometimes spoke hard truth to them. That is a far different thing from emotional manipulation.

We must release all desire for power over others.

This is going to help someone. Someone needs to be able to evaluate the impact of the power you give to another (perhaps that person has never tried to shame you - you simply react to them from a shame that is within you, and consequently you are bitter towards them), and/or the power you seek to assert over another.

We become so controlled by shame, when we allow it access. Shame will always become bitterness. Stop allowing shame to control you (remember: no one else can shame you - not ultimately) and you will protect your soul from disfiguring bitterness.