Humiliation. Many live with shame and are bound by that humiliation. They struggle in silence alone and are kept back from being able to live life to the fullest potential for which they were created. Others have been able to survive, overcome and thrive, by God's grace, after the same kind of difficult situations which impacted and shaped their life so greatly.
Have you ever been humiliated in any point of your life by something you’ve said or done, or by the actions and choices of someone to whom you are close and whom you love? If you have, know you aren’t alone.
When we are the one responsible for the choices made which bring humiliation upon ourselves, we understand that our actions have consequences and, therefore, accept the "fallout"--as the blame ends with us. There are, however, so many different choices people make which bring severe humiliation to others who have no control for those actions and this can cause them to withdraw into dark, lonely, isolated places in their lives as a result of that person's choice.
I will give a few examples...
Parenthood: How many parents do you know that have done fantastic jobs raising great children? Yet, sometimes, those children, as adults, venture away from the right path and make really bad choices, which are humiliating to their parents. The parents are powerless and no longer have the ability to control the actions of that independent, adult child living out their own poor choices in this big, chaotic world.
Marriage: You may know a wife or husband who has discovered that their spouse was unfaithful--having an affair? That faithful wife or husband, and oftentimes children, feel humiliated by people knowing that the person whom they loved and trusted betrayed them. That person's actions, over which they had no control, completely turned their lives upside down.
Suicide: We see this tragedy more and more these days, deeply affecting so many people in various ways. At times that devastating choice is made by a loving husband, wife, child, parent, or friend, and those from the outside look to the closest person in that individuals life looking for answers to all the "why's"? Some may wonder what was going on behind closed doors in that relationship. Questions regarding the apparent instability causing that individual to take such an action might be asked about the parent of a child. How were the signs missed that could have prevented such a tragically fatal ending? The people closest to the deceased person can feel very humiliated by rumors or feelings of inadequacy, which would allow their loved one make that tragic and heart-shattering choice.
False Accusations: Have you ever had someone you thought to be a friend, co-worker or even someone you don't know, lie about you? Maybe, they took to the internet to humiliate you with a lie, or in an effort to get back at you for your beliefs or something they didn't like, or maybe they are envious of you? They make you out to be a horrible person and monster to those who don't know you from Adam. You can’t control where that misinformation, deceit and hatred travel with the power or the World Wide Web at their fingertips.
Yet, there are many examples throughout history, which we can find and to which we can relate. When I read through the Bible, I find stories of people who experienced humiliation, as a result of their own personal choices or actions.
A few that come to mind:
Adam and Eve - This first man and wife ate the forbidden fruit and immediately felt exposure, guilt and shame. Through that action, sin entered the world and with it humiliation.
Samson - His weakness for women lead him to Delilah. She was his down fall and it ultimately resulted in his very humiliating and public death.
King David - He looked lustfully on another man's wife (his very own loyal soldier's wife, Bathsheba) and followed through with his adulterous desires by abusing his power and sleeping with her. When he learned that she was pregnant with his child, he tried to cover up his sin and the humiliation that would follow, but it didn't work. So, he ordered her husband to be moved to the font lines of battle to be killed! This faithful soldier and friend was out honorably fighting for King David!
Adulteress woman - Her self-righteous accusers brought her and put her in the midst of where Jesus was teaching, seeking for Him to condemn her to death for her adultery. Yet, He chose to send her away without further humiliation or condemnation, telling her "to sin no more".
These are a few who experienced humiliation as a result of poor choices made by others, which were beyond their control.
Joseph - He made an attempt to guard his reputation by fleeing from temptation, which was set before him, yet, the "lie" that the Potiphar's wife told concerning Joseph, landed him in prison for many years.
Job - God said their was none more righteous on earth than Job. He told the devil he was allowed to do anything to him, except take his life. He lost all 10 of his children in a tragedy, raiders stole his livestock and he lost most of his servants. Then, he also suffered severe health issues and his own wife told him to curse God and die.
The Prodigal Son's Parents - Their son left home, squandering all his portion of the inheritance, living a very shameful life.
Jesus - He was a perfect man that had a spotless record for the life He lived, yet He suffered the greatest humiliation for mankind, so that we could have a future with Him in Heaven. He was nailed to a cross on top of a hill--stark naked--exposed to the public view of all who passed along that way. They cast lots for His garments, spat on Him, mocked Him and put a crown of thorns on His head, while hailing Him King of the Jews. He was continuously ridiculed, falsely accused and died a criminal's humiliating death, even though He was innocent. He experienced and endured the ultimate humiliation out of pure love.
Although we many never fully know why God allows things to happen the way they do, we can trust His plan and His heart. God often uses the painful situations we go through as a platform by which we can help others who are walking those rocky and painful roads we've traveled. We can bring hope, encouragement, empathy, support and a comforting understanding to a situation where the person feels so broken, hopeless and alone. When those hard situations we endure have no purpose in our life, they can become our prison that bind and shackle us to that pain and humiliation, by which the devil seeks to keep people confounded, and his plan or intent succeeds, as it hinders us from being effective in helping others. If we find purpose in our pain, we can find healing in the process. "...who comforts us in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" (2 Corinthians 1:4).
If you fall into the category of BEING the one who brought humiliation on yourself or you family or friends, know that there are forgiveness and new beginnings! King David was a man after God’s own heart! When he failed, he repented and got back up! God is a God of forgiveness and second chances!
If you fall into the category of being the one who had no control over the actions of others, know that this is only a chapter in your life. You can’t strategize how to return someone who’s turned away or taken their life. Other people’s actions don’t define you. Find your identity in the One Who created you with purpose and gave you life! The Bible says that the latter part of Job’s life was more blessed than the beginning! That’s amazing! God can restore, renew, and repair things in ways that exceed what our minds can fathom!
Be still and know there is a God in Heaven! He knows exactly what it was like to suffer the ultimate humiliation! My hope and prayer is that this will bring peace and freedom to anyone struggling with shame, embarrassment or humiliation as it can be a debilitating prison in peoples' lives.
Remember, friend! You are loved! You are strong! You have value! You have worth! You have purpose! You can make a difference!
#dontshameblame #humiliation #breakthepowerofshame #findyourfreedom #philippians2vs8and9