Shame Doesn’t Get the Final Say – Encouragement for Today – January 30, 2024

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Meghan RyanJanuary 30, 2024

Shame Doesn't Get the Final Say

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"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus ..." Romans 8:1 (NIV)

Not that long ago, my life looked anything but godly. I spent my college years like a walking stereotype: the semi-goody-two-shoes Christian girl who goes to college, joins a sorority, and turns into a party girl.

Then for years after, I lived in shame.

I felt like if anyone knew my mistakes, they would write me off. When I compared my past to others', I felt like mine was so much worse. And when I slipped back into old habits, I beat myself up for days.

If you've ever felt this way, you're not alone. In all the hiding, and sometimes self-hatred, it's easy to start believing that God couldn't redeem any of it. Then it becomes even easier to believe that where you are right now is a direct result of what you've done.

But while shame threatens to steal your past, it does not get the final say in your story.

Today's verse reminds us what is true: "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).

In Christ, you are free from having to hide in shame.

While we can know in our heads that this is what the Bible says, it feels more challenging to believe in our hearts that it's true. So if we find ourselves stuck in shame or believing we have to earn the blessings we long for, where do we go from here?

We turn to what's true. We open our Bibles and find out what God says about the lies we believe. I've found three simple steps to do this:

  1. Acknowledge what is a lie. If it contradicts God's Word, it's not true. Sometimes we need a friend to remind us of this, so send the text or make the phone call, and ask someone you trust if you're believing a lie.
  2. Replace the lie with what the Bible says is true. (And there's no shame in Googling to find a verse if you don't know where to start looking.)
  3. Repeat the truth until it feels real. Which sometimes feels crazy, but eventually it sticks. And then the next time the lie creeps back in, the truth more quickly comes to mind.

If you start there, I think you'll find when the enemy whispers in your ear that this is all your fault or you've missed it or it's too late, you can tell him and yourself the truth:

God's goodness does not change based on your decisions.
He is sovereign (Proverbs 16:9; Colossians 1:17).
He loves to redeem His people’s pasts and mistakes (Ephesians 1:7-9).

Friend, this is the best news. Regardless of your past, Jesus makes a way for refuge in Him. There's no wrong you've done that cannot be forgiven. He is safe. All you have to do is run to Him.

God, thank You for the forgiveness that comes from faith in Jesus. I praise You that I no longer walk in shame from my past. Help me identify the lies shame tries to tell me and replace them with truths from Your Word. In Jesus' Name, Amen.


Could I have done something different to avoid this pain? If you feel like your suffering is always tied to something you did wrong or didn't do right, you're not alone. We put together a resource called "Consider This: Why Do Bad Things Happen to God's People?" for you to consider how this thinking may be impacting your relationship with the Lord. These Bible verses and reflection questions will help you cling to Truth when you find yourself wrestling through a hard season.


The space between where you've been and where you want to be can feel confusing. Sometimes you just need to take a step and figure out what you personally need to get through it. That's why Meghan Ryan Asbury put together "In the Middle: 3 Steps to Navigating Transition and Unexpected Life Changes." This short resource will help you form routines and rhythms you need to thrive while you're in the "in-between."


Ephesians 1:7-9, "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ ..." (NIV).

What is one lie you believe that you can replace with a truth from Scripture?

We'd love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

© 2024 by Meghan Ryan Asbury. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106