Message: Shame - Self
This week we looked at the life of Peter to helps us understand the "Shame - Self Spectrum." The basic idea is that our lives tend to get pushed to the extreme of either living in Shame or living fully for our Self.
Shame is the idea that you are OBVIOUSLY bad. If you are bad, then everything you do will most likely be bad as well.
Self is thinking that you are OBVIOUSLY good! If you are good, then you should do anything and everything to make yourself happy.
When is a time you have been living in Shame?
What did believing you were bad do to your outlook on life?
When is a time you were living in Self?
Did the pursuit of your own happiness actually get you where you wanted?
Both of these extremes move us away from the pursuit of our God-given purpose. Shame devalues us so we think we couldn't possibly have anything significant to contribute to this world. Self replaces true purpose with PRIDE and self-glorification.
The dangerous thing about this spectrum is it tends to work on a pendulum. That means when someone escapes one of these extremes, they tend to overcorrect ALL THE WAY over to the other extreme.
Peter showed us this in scripture. He would rely fully on himself until the bottom fell out and then would swing over the Shame. Moving back and forth on this pendulum is an exhausting and powerless way to live!
After another humiliating interaction with Jesus, Peter said, "Go away from me Lord, I am a sinful man." Peter was living in Shame. However Jesus pulls him out of Shame by telling him, "DO NOT BE AFRAID."
Fear keeps us stuck in shame. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failure. Fear of change. Fear that we may actually be worth something and the pressure that would seem to bring! Jesus pulls Peter out of fear and therefore out of Shame. One day, Peter will learn that Jesus is the very thing that defeats ALL fear!
Jesus also doesn't want Peter to go back to SELF. Self is rooted in Pride and Pride is a cheap substitute for Purpose. So, Jesus gives him a real purpose, "Leave your boats... from now on you will be a fisher of men." Jesus is the true source of faith in the face of fear. Jesus is the true source of purpose when we are stuck in pride.
In between Shame and Self there is SIGNIFICANCE - the life of purpose you were meant to live!
Which of those three would you most see yourself living in currently?
Identifying where you are at on the Shame - Self Spectrum is the first step. If you are having trouble determining where you are, ask yourself these questions:
Am I often doubting myself? Do I see myself as valuable? Is the future I imagine less than satisfactory?
If these answers are yes - you may be living in Shame.
If I am honest, do I live a selfish lifestyle? Do I struggle to put others first? Would others describe me as someone who "Takes care of #1" - obviously alluding to yourself? When you think about your purpose, are you the one who ends us with the most glory?
If these answers are mostly yes - you may be living in SELF
Am I satisfied internally regardless if things around me are good or bad? Do I have a sense of peace about the future? Am I able to put others first but not be a door mat at the same time? Is my purpose and faith found in Jesus?
If you answer yes to most of these questions, you are on the path to significance!
Here is this week's application question:
What is ONE WAY you will move further from Shame or Self and closer to significance this week?
Shame is a powerful tool and Self is a potent drug! Ask God to show you clearly where those forces are at play in your life. Meditate on Jesus - His love for you and plan for your life. Allow the Holy Spirit to begin drawing you out of fear and pride. Speak out loud over your life, "I was made with purpose."