Overcoming Shame the Biblical Way

man feels shame;overcoming shame

5 Steps to Overcoming Shame 

Does it ever feel like shame is ruining your life? It can be this big oppressive thing that weighs you down. But believe me, you can overcome shame if you follow the Bible’s guidance. 

How to Overcome Shame 

Based on my own personal experience and helping other men overcome shame, God has revealed a pattern that takes us out of the shadows of shame and into the light of accountability and change. 

1. Confess your sins to God and others

When we mess up, we have to confess our sins to God to seek forgiveness from Him, as well as confess our sins to those we hurt. Overcoming shame through him gives us a path that we can use to be set free. As Matthew 5:23-24 says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” God doesn’t want us to live in shame. He wants us to be reconciled with Him and with those around us. 

The Bible also tells us about the healing power of confessing our sins to one another. James 5:16 tells us, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”

This act of confessing to a “righteous person” can be such a powerful influence in your life, especially if it is a close friend who knows you and will check in on you and help keep you accountable.

2. Accept God’s forgiveness          

Sometimes we are so focused on our own mistakes that we aren’t able to accept God’s forgiveness in our lives . Remember that God’s love for us is unconditional and, as a believer, our sins have been paid for. As John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Overcoming Shame can be done and through God!

3. Realize that shame is one of the devil’s biggest weapons

You might think shame is just the normal response for messing up. But it’s not. Shame is not helpful. It’s a curse that makes your mistakes linger in your mind, changing how you think of yourself long after the consequences. The devil uses it to make you feel like you are a bad, worthless person and there’s nothing you could do to change or earn God’s forgiveness.

4. Remember that Jesus does not expect perfection

Jesus came down to earth. He was God in a human body. His standard of perfection is beyond your reach, and mine, but His forgiveness, friendship and encouragement are not. The devil’s shame says, “You are bad. You are guilty and hopeless.” God’s conviction says, “You did bad. You fall short, but with me you can get back on track.”

Remember, we’re not striving for “Junior Jesus Perfection” status in hopes that we can impress God into giving us a break or a bonus. As men, we are already loved by our Father God who has offered us both a Savior and a brother in Jesus.

5. Take an honest look in the mirror

If we’re going to overcome shame, that starts by answering some tough questions, like: What really controls me? What do I turn to when I’m bored, hungry, tired, stressed, discouraged, angry, or ashamed? Why do I hide secret parts of my life?

When we do things that feel wrong to us, we experience guilt. Our conscience is God’s helpful signal that we’re off-track. We can respond by confessing, seeking God’s mercy, and receiving His grace to correct our course. We move out of the shadows of secrecy into the light of truth. While guilt can call us toward God’s kindness, the devil is quick to twist it into shame, which fuels lies, secrecy and isolation. So stay vigilant and remember who you really are. 

That’s the real point of looking in the mirror. Remember that you are a son of God, and through Him, you can experience transformational change when you receive that truth every day.


Are you ready to overcome shame? Do you want to create a group of friends who are committed to transparency and accountability? Discover how to with the Playbook for Level 5 Friendship.