Q. What if we’ve let the anger toward the one that has hurt us go, but we can’t let go of the shame we feel because of what the person had done? I have forgiven the one that hurt me as a child, but I have a difficult time forgiving myself and I feel shameful for “allowing” it to happen and for allowing it to carry on into a time in my life where I knew it was wrong. I’ve prayed about this often, but I can’t seem to overcome this shame and I struggle with it often. It really irritates me and I believe the answer is that I’m just letting Satan take joy out of my life through the shame. How do we let go of the shame? It’s easier said than done.
A. Shame is a sign you’re still angry and haven’t forgiven yourself. The enemy uses this type of non-forgiveness in the same way he uses the non-forgiveness of others. Like you’ve said, it steals your joy, but it can also have lasting emotional and physical effects if left unresolved. You know God is not angry with you, so your anger toward yourself contradicts your knowledge of God. When thoughts of this come up take them captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:3-5) by rejecting them. Ask the Lord to help you. It is often harder to forgive ourselves than it is to forgive others, but it is the Lord’s will for us and with perseverance it can be done.