17. Dealing With Elder Brother
“You are paying a price for your sins.”
“You are getting what you deserve.”
“You must have some unconfessed sin in your life.”
“You have only yourself to blame.”
“How could you have done something so awful.”
“I was devastated when I heard about your sin.”
“You have hurt so many people.”
“You shamed the name of your family.”
“You have no idea how much you hurt the cause of Christ.”
“You are really not repentant enough.”
These are just a few examples of things that have been said to me over and over again through the years. These are the kind of statements made by what I call “Guilters and Shamers.” These are people who feel it is their responsibility to be the Holy Spirit, or to keep you in your place of shame. When someone has had a terrible fall, especially if it was public, the Guilters and Shamers come out in force. They take it upon themselves to constantly remind you of how THEY think you should feel. There is no escape from these people.; they will find you. They are like the men who brought the lady caught in the act of adultery to Jesus. They make themselves look better by trying to make you look and feel worse.
Over the years, I have learned how to deal with these Guilters and Shamers. There are some things that you need to do in order to prevent them from accomplishing their goal, thus destroying my spirit.
1. Remember there is no condemnation to any of us who are in Christ Jesus and are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:1) They can say anything they want, but they are wrong and they do not represent our Lord Jesus Christ. Do not fall for their condemning remarks.
2. Be compassionate towards those who try to guilt and shame you. Most likely, these are people who grew up being guilted and shamed, and it is all they know. Tragically, many parents and Christian leaders use this as their method to control people, and it is passed down from generation to generation of parents or Christians.
3. Remember that Guilters and Shamers do not speak for the Holy Spirit. Conviction from the Holy Spirit is much different from this. Do not allow these folks to confuse you. Conviction comes from the truth of God speaking to us, not from someone’s hurtful words.
4. It is the goodness of God that brings us to repentance not guilt and shame. (Romans 2:4) You may feel guilt and shame after conviction, but that will be gone once you have repented. Satan uses Guilters and Shamers to prevent you from living in victory and joy.
5. Quote Scripture when someone tries to guilt or shame you. Let me give you some scriptures that you should memorize. Anytime one of these Guilters and Shamers cross your path, use these scriptures to help eliminate the venom that has come from their lips.
Romans 8:1, 2
1 John 1:9
Colossians 1:21, 22
6. Learn how to respond in a positive way, yet in a way that reinforces what you know to be true. Do not rebuke them; respond with truth. Paul said it best, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended; but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul resolved not to live in the negative of the past, but to press towards the promise of the future.
7. Think about how God is going to use you. When Peter denied the Lord three times, he was ashamed right after it happened; but Christ never shamed him. Christ had already made it clear that Peter was going to be greatly used in the future and we know he was. We never hear it mentioned again. Christ does not throw our past failures in our face because He is more interested in using us from the lessons we learned from those past failures.
8. Do not allow them to get into your mind. I love what Paul said in Colossians 1:1921. “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace thro ugh the blood of His cross, by him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in Earth, or things in Heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled.” We were alienated and enemies, not in reality but only in our minds. Do not let them convince you that God is mad at you for what you did in the past. He is not.
9. Walk in the liberty you have in Christ. The Bible says that we are free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2) Do not allow the guilters and shamers to lead you back into slavery. Whenever I am faced with one of these rascals, I like to imagine that they are leading me into the presence of Jesus and accusing me. I imagine Jesus stooping and writing on the ground. He then speaks and says, “ He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone .” I imagine that one who is trying to bind me into slavery of my past slumping over and walking out…SHAMED! YIPPEE! I love that thought. Jesus looks at me and says, “neither do I condemn thee David.”
DO NOT be guilted! Do not be shamed! It will steal your joy and drive you to despair. Be a victor over the Guilters and Shamers by employing these tactics and live in the victory of your forgiveness. (DH)