Shame RX: Hard memories remind us that we survived.

Philippians 3:13-14

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Memories. Some can make us wish we could be in that space and place again. While other memories can paralyze us and keep us trapped in a space we hoped to forget, and trigger shame we thought we had dealt with. There are telltale signs that can reveal whether or not we have dealt with shame biblically.


If memories trigger a sense of regret, we have unresolved shame. God’s sovereignty can meet us in that place. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, NIV). Knowing that whatever pain or shame we endured in the past will be used for good is a relief. Instead of being in shame from the past, we can choose to be in wonder of our God who redeems it all.


Shame from the past tends to make us self-focused. We can become absorbed in our mistakes and wish we could go back and fix it all. But Philippians 3:13-14 reminds us that when the past rises up, we have a choice whether we will look in the rearview mirror or look ahead. Ultimately, all of our failures or victories do not define us. God does. And our past, present, and future are all about Him, not us.


Sometimes we don’t know how to deal with shame from the past and would rather live in denial or hide it. But hiding shame does not heal it. Unless we approach shame and examine it biblically, we will live in shame’s shadow. God has removed our sin and the guilt of our sin as far as the east is from the west. He will restore what the locusts have eaten and has already redeemed the past.

Shame from memories is hard to deal with. But hard memories remind us that we survived. We made it through and that shame is now a testimony of what God can do with our brokenness for our good and His glory.

Don’t look back, friend! Shame Off You!


Shame Off You is available at all major booksellers.

Need to get rid of shame in your life? Join the Shame Off You Bible Study Mondays at 7pm ET.

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  • Free Bible Study Companion Guide (print and pop in a binder, or use it as a digital guide)
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  • Shame Off You Journal
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