When you feel ashamed of yourself

Charles Ighele

There is nobody that passes through this earth that does not pass through a classroom known as the classroom of shame since Adam and Eve brought sin to planet earth.

All humans have one shameful experience or the other. So, it is not only you.

There is a novel titled “The Scarlet Letter” written by Nathaniel Halton. It is the story of a woman named Mrs. Hester Prynne, who was caught in the act of adultery. It was a shameful thing in that highly moralistic village of those days.

On every dress that she had, a big letter “A” was to be imprinted on it. The letter “A” means “Adultery.” But the woman decided to move on.

She embarked on community work. Ten years later, children who grew up in that village and who knew the woman and her good works started asking their parents whether the letter “A” on her dress stood for “ANGEL”. Mrs. Prynne stepped out of her shameful past and made a brand new story for herself.

That shameful life you may be living right now due to illegal sex or other shameful things you might have done is not your final story.

Come out of that shame and start another chapter of your life. It is not as if you may not remember the shameful past once in a while, but as the great preacher A. W. Tozer said in one of his works, “you cannot prevent a bird from flying over your head, but you can prevent it from building a nest on it”.

There was a time David brought shame on himself by committing adultery with Bathsheba. He lamented over it in Psalm 51. David had a sense of shame after prophet Nathan’s intervention. But having a sense of shame is different from living a life of shame. David knew how to handle shame. For bringing shame upon himself, he prayed to God for forgiveness and he left that adulterous classroom of shame.

There is an outreach in our ministry known as New Life for Teenage Mothers’ Centre, which I personally head. Immediately we found out that teenage mothers were secretly and deeply ashamed of themselves during pregnancy and after delivery, my team and I spent the first three months during our weekly meetings with them to get them out of the classroom of shame and give them a sense of self-worth. These precious young girls have left the classroom of shame and are either reconciled with their parents or we are trying to put their lives back on track, job wise, educationally or training them and setting them up in the area of business.

A woman who could not bear the guilt and shame of adultery confessed to her husband and he ended the marriage. Another confessed to her husband and the man forgave her. A man confessed to his wife, the wife did not end the marriage but the daily tormenting words from her made the man regret ever confessing to her. There is yet another set of men and women whose cases of adultery or other shameful acts my wife and I secretly and exclusively handled without their partners or any of our pastors knowing. We were able to get them out of the classroom of shame and also into an emotionally stable mind that made them not to repeat the shameful acts, thereby returning to repeat in that same classroom of shame. Have you done something shameful in the past, the weight of which is still dragging your marital life backward? You can come out of that classroom of shame today, once you FIRMLY make up your mind to do so as Mrs. Prynne did and moved on with her life.
Love you.

In this article:
Bishop Charles Ighele
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