Shame is a Liar!

Shame - The icky, crawling feeling makes its way into my chest and the pit of my stomach. I messed up.

February 25, 2023

Today’s guest post is written by Sara Willoughby; founder of the Diamonds Conference – a ministry that cares for the mental, spiritual, and emotional needs of Christians with physical health challenges. I have been privileged to speak at Diamonds 2022 & 2023 and have seen firsthand how important this mission is to Sara. Thank you, Sara, for stopping by The Rescued Letters!


 The icky, crawling feeling makes its way into my chest and the pit of my stomach. I messed up. I failed. “Failed.” The word reverberates and won’t let go. Whether “failed” is true in this situation seems not to matter as shame takes over.

I hate shame. Yet I am so quick to turn to it. To be overcome by it.

Chronic illness has carried shame into my life in a unique way. Maybe it has for you too. I have seen the way my health challenges affect my loved ones around me and I feel shame. I feel like it is my fault. I feel shame for not being healthy. Shame for not trying harder (yes, even when I’m giving all I can). Shame for struggling.

But why? 

I know any one of you, my sisters, would be so quick to combat that shame. As I would in you. If someone else was laying there sick in bed, I would never tell them to get over it. I would look you in the eyes and tell you there is empathy, grace, and support for you. I would tell you that shame is a liar.

And yet, it lingers in my own heart. Somehow it feels different when it is me. Somehow I know I’m also not the only one who feels that way.

When it comes to us, we think we deserve shame. We think that since we deserve it, we should wallow in it, allowing ourselves to feel the full weight of our failures. Yet shame is a liar.

Even if we did deserve it — even if we murdered someone — shame is still a liar. Because shame says we’re stuck. Shame focuses on us and all our failings. Rather than shame, God gives us conviction. It says we are not stuck. It focuses on the Savior, not the failings.

Conviction is not like shame. Shame compares, conviction is unflinching. Shame focuses on feelings, conviction pairs feelings with the truth. Shame builds upon itself, conviction leads to the resolution of itself.

Sister, if you’re convicted, allow that to lead to repentance. But if you’re trapped in shame, please know it’s not something you need to sit under. You’re not stuck there. And facing suffering is not a reason to feel shame.

In Romans 8:18 (NIV), Paul says, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

Suffering does not have to produce shame. Suffering ends in glory! It is an honor to suffer for God’s glory. Not something we need to punish ourselves for. Just as we can live for God’s glory, so we can suffer for His glory.

And in my experience, y’all, suffering often produces glory for God. When it is apparent that there’s absolutely no way we can do this on our own, it becomes clear that God is our sustainer. When suffering rips away our pride, makes us face our fear, and grows intimacy between us and our Savior — it glorifies Him!

Sister, we get to throw shame away! Instead of that anxious, icky, broken feeling, we get to stand boldly and beautifully, radiating God’s glory. I want that. I’m tired of bowing to shame.

Will you choose to stand with me? 

To set aside the shame — no, to throw aside the shame! — and to focus on the glory God is revealing in us? To focus our eyes on Him and the long-term?

Shames says it will hold us forever. God’s grace and glory say He will hold us forever. Today, sister, breathe deep with me. In. Out. Choose to believe that you are just as loved as God says you are and that He is not finished with you. Choose to shed the shame that blinds us to glory.

I’m with you in the trenches. Let’s do this!

About the author

Sara Willoughby Sara is the author of He's Making Diamonds and the founder of the Diamonds Conference. She lives in California and enjoys curling up with a book on a rainy day.

Sara Willoughby

Sara is the author of He’s Making Diamonds and the founder of the Diamonds Conference. She lives in California and enjoys curling up with a book on a rainy day.

Connect with Sara

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