I have struggled with a sense of shame almost my whole life. Some of my earliest memories of school involve an overwhelming sense of shame. I vividly remember being in kindergarten and one of my classmates already knowing how to read. Right after learning one of the letters assigned for that week, my teacher had one of the girls from my class sit in her rocking chair at circle time and read us a short book. I was amazed and completely overwhelmed all at once. I didn’t feel like I’d ever be able to do that. The day my teacher told us we would learn to count to 100, I felt like dropping out of school. Then I learned that in order to graduate you had to go to school for twelve years and kindergarten didn’t count. I wanted to go home and never come back.
School was hard for me, especially in those early years.
In the first grade, I was given the labels of “Dyslexic and Learning Disabled.” These labels brought with them a lot of shame in the years that followed.
Moses knew a little something about the sting of shame, too. In Exodus 4, he asked God to pick someone else for the job. Because of his “weakness” or “disability,” Moses did not feel confident to speak in front of people. His reluctance to obey God’s request shows the grip shame had on his life. To us, it seems almost unthinkable to ask God to pick someone else for a job, yet that is exactly what Moses did.
Because of shame, Moses didn’t think he had anything to offer. He didn’t trust that God could still move powerfully through his weakness. The shame Moses experienced made him feel less than, unusable, disqualified, and broken.
I’ve felt those same feelings over the years and still struggle with them even now.
In our weakness, God is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). We see this truth lived out through Moses’ life as he later chose to not let his shame stop him from obeying God’s call on his life. Did it happen overnight? No, but day by day, choosing to trust and walk forward one day at a time, God formed Moses into an amazing leader, a leader whom God used to lead His people out of slavery and into the promised land.
If you look at a lot of men and women God used powerfully through the ages, you’ll see leaders who first fought battles on the battlefields of shame.
Shame has a way of making you feel less than, not enough, and exposed.
Shame makes you want to go into hiding, not be God’s spokesman or woman.
Yet throughout Scripture, especially illustrated in Moses’ life, God intentionally sought out those cloaked in shame, showing once again His heart for the hurting and His power to redeem their lives.
What God did through Moses’ life, He can do in yours as well.
In Psalm 103 we read about God’s compassionate, merciful, patient, and loyal love for His children revealed through Moses’ life. God could have chosen a less broken leader, but He didn’t. That says a lot about God’s heart for the hurting.
I don’t know the cause of shame in your life, but I want you to know that despite the lies you hear, God can and wants to powerfully use you. The next time you feel the heaviness of shame coming over you, think about Moses and how powerfully God worked through his life. Trust God to work powerfully through yours, too. Never forget, You are never too broken for God to use or redeem.
Angela Perritt is the founder and director of LoveGodGreatly.com, a nonprofit online Bible study ministry reaching thousands of women in over two hundred countries around the world with God’s Word through their translated Bible studies. She and her husband live in Dallas, Texas with their three daughters. Angela is passionate about God’s Word and believes one woman in God’s Word can change a family, community, and ultimately a nation. Her greatest joy is to encourage her children and others to love God greatly with their lives one day at a time. You can connect with her on Instagram.
Have you purchased your Shame Breaker journal yet? Not only will you find all of the daily reading passages and SOAP journaling pages, but you’ll have each of the daily devotions in printed form–no need to check the app on your phone while working through your study!
Don’t forget, the Bridge Reading Plan is only available in the printed journals! The Bridge is a two-week long reading plan designed to bridge the gap between two studies. In the Shame Breaker journal you’ll find the Bridge Reading Plan along with two weeks of SOAP journaling pages and daily Scripture reading! Don’t miss this! The Bridge reading plans will walk through the entire Book of Psalms during 2021. This plan is found only in the study journals, so grab one today! You don’t want to miss out!
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