The Shame Game.

Ed: /eh-d/ noun

1. The term Whitney uses when referring to her eating disorder, used with male pronouns

see also: enemy, satan, douche, pain, manipulator, abusive

 

Ed’s been a real douche lately (pardon my language, but I’m pretty fed up). Recently Ed’s been playing the “shame game.” The shame game’s core value is: “convince Whitney she can’t do anything right.”

Whether it’s choosing to eat breakfast and follow my meal plan (which is the right move) or listening to Ed’s voice and skipping dinner (not the healthiest move), I can’t win. Ed’s move is always to shame. He loves to convince me that because I haven’t exercised faithfully since the height of my eating disorder, I’m losing. I’m failing. And I deserve to walk in shame, head down, consumed with tormenting lies. 

Shame is sneaky. And manipulative. Because when I play the shame game, I can't win. As long as shame rules my choices, I'll never walk away with a victory trophy or shiny medal. It’ll never be enough. Whether I give into the lies and do what Ed wants (skip meals, etc) or make healthy choices (follow my meal plan & go to counseling), shame consumes me. I always lose the shame game.

Have you ever felt this way? Maybe not in regards to an eating disorder and the impossible cycle of calorie counting, but have you ever played the shame game? Have you ever heard those lies that whisper: “you’re not good enough” “you’re failing” “you’ve made horrible choices” “you deserve [insert worst fear here].” Eventually you start believing those lies and start walking around like everyone can see straight through you and what they see is less than enjoyable. 

Friends, this life, this shame game, is not God’s heart for us. He desires freedom. He desires a life of joy and security. He is our only hope in winning this shame game. He’s the only truth that can speak to our soul and defeat the head game maker of shame (satan).

I know for me, as I daily (or hourly) wrestle with Ed and the shame he feeds me, my only hope is clinging to Jesus and His desire to defeat the shame game. I cling to Jesus pretty imperfectly and I’m not entirely sure what it looks like, but I know right now, as Ed tells me I should be “ashamed” of myself for not running today, I’m holding these truths with all of the strength I have left after an exhausting week of playing the shame game:

“Those who look to Him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.” —Psalm 34:5 [NLT]—

“On this mountain, for all people’s, Yahweh Sabaoth is preparing a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, On this mountain, He has destroyed the veil which used to veil all people’s [...] He has destroyed death forever. Lord Yahweh has wiped away the tears from every cheek; He has taken His people’s shame away everywhere on earth, for Yahweh had spoken.” -- Isaiah 25:6-8 --

 

xo Whit