Rules of Shame That Keep You From Sonship Growth
What keeps us from growth in life? What fuels a fear of failure that keeps us locked into defeat for years and years? There is an old saying, “If you keep doing what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.” Shame is a major force in keeping us from ever trying anything new, from taking steps that can lead to our healing, maturing, and destinies.
Families that operate according to a shame interaction maintain the system according to a set of rules. One of the rules is perfectionism. My dad wanted me to play football and put me on Pop Warner teams as a kid. I did not like it much because I was not that good of a player. The reason I was not that good was because my dad never practiced with me. There was one time, I remember, we went in the yard to play catch. He told me to go out “longer… go longer.” He threw the ball so far and hard I had no chance to catch it. Dad then gave me that look, you know the one that says, “What’s the matter with you; every kid knows how to catch a football.”
My dad did not have the ability to meet me where I was at in my skill level and work with me to grow. You either did it right the first time or you were unacceptable. His dad had treated him the same way. These are shame-inducing behaviors. They serve to put people into a cycle of shame. They communicate that it is not okay to make a mistake and people that do are to be mocked or demeaned. It puts a fear of failure into us. It communicates to us that it is not okay to go through a learning process, to fall down, get back up, progress a little further and make another mistake until you master a given thing.
These rules of shame can be difficult to overcome and can keep people locked into patterns where very little growth takes place. I believe this is one key reason why people have trouble progressing in their walks with the Lord. A pattern of shame keeps them rarely learning or trying anything new.
The first step in finding freedom is to begin to recognize these patterns. We do this through studying these concepts and then waiting on the Lord in prayer for Him to show us where they occur in our own lives. Another step might be to go for counseling. Finding our acceptance in Father’s love sets us free in so many ways. His love is the path to both freedom and walking in dominion. If fear were not an issue, what could you accomplish?