Storytelling and Shame

Storytelling and Shame

Stories you tell yourself about yourself are a crucial factor in your ability to receive and give love.

As I listen to people, it’s not uncommon for a person to verbalize the things they tell themselves that are wildly shaming.

“I AM an idiot.”
“I AM a weak person.”
“I AM a failure.”
“I AM not lovable.”

They are spoken as statements of identity.

Let me assure you, God does not believe these statements are true of who he made you to be, nor does he find them acceptable things for you to be telling yourself.

God he declared his creation ‘good’ in Genesis 1, and he declared humans ‘very good!’ That includes you! He has loved you from the start.

Shame is a condition that deflects love. Hopelessness naturally follows. Sometimes people very mistakenly attribute the shaming voice to God.

You’re not sinless, but you are loved. You’ve strayed away from God’s embrace, and he’s calling out to you, ‘Come home!’

God’s voice says,
‘You ARE my beloved child.’
‘You ARE my amazing creation.’
‘You ARE made to let my love flow thru you to a desperate, needy world.’
‘You ARE loved.’

Questions to ponder:

  • What is shaming statements might you need to call out as lies?
  • What truth of God’s love for you are you allowing to root inside of you?



“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 John 4:17-18 The Message (MSG)


Remember, shame is about not just doing something wrong, but being wrong as a person.


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By |2017-09-18T13:14:47+00:00September 19, 2017|Categories: Life-Giving Rhythms, Spiritual Practice|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Sharon Swing is an author, retreat leader, speaker, artist and consultant with interests in life story as a spiritual development tool, crafting experiences that give God space to do what he does best, art as a spiritual pathway, and change. With Sibyl Towner, she has co-authored Listen to My Life: Maps for Recognizing and Responding to God in My Story. For more information, visit She is an organization development consultant specializing in planning, meeting facilitation, leadership development and change management. For more information, visit

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