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Unveiling Authenticity: Embracing Freedom from Fear and Shame

Unveiling Authenticity: Embracing Freedom from Fear and Shame

For as long as I can remember, I have battled being a fearful person. On the outside, you’d never know it, but the loudest people in the room can sometimes hide the loudest fears. Too many times to count, I tried to control the perception and narratives others carried of me. If I could just conform to what I believed they wanted me to be, I thought I would be safe, loved, accepted, and seen. The problem with letting fear sit in the driver’s seat of life is that it’s exhausting, burdensome, and inauthentic. It wasn’t until I handed the keys to my Heavenly Father that I realized fear was just the puppet and shame was the puppet master.

I wish I could tell you that after I got saved, fear and shame were no longer a problem. I’d be lying. Truthfully, the roles fear and shame played in my life were only even more confusing. I knew what it was like to strive for love and acceptance in the world, but why did the same urges and tendencies follow me into the Kingdom? I remember sitting in church and hearing, “You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus!” yet still feeling defeated.

  • As His word began to detoxify my relationship with fear and shame, I started to see that fear and shame were never part of Father’s original design for creation.

Looking back to garden in Genesis as my new filter and perspective, I discovered there was a time when fear and shame weren’t just defeated. They were nonexistent. I went on a hunt through the first chapter of the Bible to find the truths my life was missing. Here’s what I discovered. 

Fear and Shame Thrive in Unrest.

We know business is the enemy of rest, but we may not realize fear and shame thrive in our vulnerability when we’re tired. As Adam and Eve were working the land in the Garden, the serpent saw an open opportunity in their business. Without rest, we see how easily it is to become tempted to lose sight of what we need in hopes of getting what we want. This is why Jesus promised rest when we find ourselves weary and weighed down,  

Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. — Matthew 11:28

Living an inauthentic life is exhausting, but when we are honest with our limitations and personal boundaries, we discover there is just as much freedom in saying no as there is in saying yes. When we’re not weighed down by living out of the expectations and opinions of others, we can clearly see that the affirmation and approval we seek is found in Him, not “them”.

  • Fear and shame have little room to operate in our lives when our thoughts, emotions, and will are resting in the Him.

Fear and Shame Hide Behind Our Fig Leaves.

As we navigate through this journey of faith, we encounter moments when the weight of fear and the burden of shame threaten to veil our authenticity. In these moments, we may find ourselves doing the same thing Adam and Eve did in Genesis 3:7 — reaching for fig leaves as an attempt to validate and protect ourselves from being seen for who we truly are. Scripture assures us that Christ's covering surpasses any fig leaves we might to cover ourselves with,

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation; He has covered me with the robe of righteousness. — Isaiah 61:10

This picture of being clothed with the garments of salvation and covered with the robe of righteousness is a profound statement of the grace and acceptance we receive in Christ. No longer do we need to hide behind our inadequate attempts to shield ourselves from exposure and judgment. No longer do we need our fig leaves. We are invited to step into the freedom, authenticity, and love that flow from this divine covering.

Fear and Shame Forget the Pomise of His Grace.

When we’re overwhelmed by the lies fear and shame try to tell us, we forget that God’s promises are not never overwhelmed, overturned, or overthrown.

  • There is nothing that God’s grace on the cross has not covered. Nothing.

Oh, I know the enemy tries to tell us differently, but we have to remember that if grace covered Adam and Eve in the garden, it will still cover us today.

Before Adam and Eve sinned, God told them to fill the earth and have dominion over every part of it. After they sinned, God still wanted them to fill the earth and have dominion over every part of it. He didn’t change the plan. When He found them naked and ashamed, He still talked to Eve about bringing forth children, and He still tasked Adam with ruling over the ground (Genesis 3:16–19). God didn’t start talking to them about hustling to get back on track or striving to be perfect again. None of that was in His original plan, and it wasn’t in His redemption plan either.

The freedom to live authentic, unashamed lives come from being covered by a grace far greater than our own efforts. It is this grace that empowers us to love God and others wholeheartedly and to embrace the life of freedom we were meant to live. If our works couldn’t earn us grace, our works can’t take it away. This is why Scripture tells us,

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast. — Ephesians 2:8-9

I have come to realize that the greatest weapon we have in exposing fear and shame is our upmost intention to live authentically before our God. We must not allow ourselves to get overfamiliar with His presence and not allow Him to touch the deepest parts of us. In this raw and real transparency of relationship with the Father, there is no place for fear and shame to settle in our lives.

Have you allowed God to touch your pain?

Have you allowed God to touch your fears?

Have you allowed God to touch your shame?

  • We are not powerless against fear and shame.

We can speak to the lies that have caused us to hold back or shine less brightly. I pray we all take a bold stance against fear and shame so that we can truly live authentically, courageously, and fearlessly. From this place of healing and strength, we find the fire within us to pave a path of freedom that burns with purpose and passion. This is what it means to Speak Fire™.

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Written for FaithGateway by Mariela Rosario, author of She Speaks Fire.

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Your Turn

Look at those three questions again and think about them… Bring them before the Lord and ask Him if there’s any place in your life where pain, fear, and shame still have hold and give that to Him! He wants you to be free to speak fire! ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full