Leaders: When Shame Calls Please Don't Answer

We are all broken, we were born that way. The trouble is occasionally we live in our brokenness rather than with our brokenness. There is a big difference between living in brokenness instead of with brokenness. Living in brokenness promotes a sense of shame, living with brokenness a sense of humility.

I don’t need to live in a garbage can to know that it smells yet I live with three of them on the side of my house. I guess you could say I live with trash but I don’t live in trash. Why then do I live in my brokenness rather than with it?

When I live in my brokenness I feel like my inner voice is trash talking me, calling me different names and quite often I turn around and answer, and therein is the problem. It's not what you are called, it's what you answer to.

Something jogs my memory and for a moment I recall past mistakes and failures and before I know it I feel ashamed and accused. It’s like I am sitting in “brokenness class” and the teacher is calling out names...

Useless? “Yep”
Shameful? “That’s Me”
Stupid? “Here”
Worthless “Uh huh”
Afraid? “Yes”
Worry? “Present”

Trash talking and name calling are both meant to keep us in our brokenness and define who we are and it’s simply not healthy nor is it true. We all make mistakes but we must remember mistakes are choices not people.

The reason why living in brokenness is like living in trash is because it stinks and it eventually rubs off on others. Living with brokenness, like living with trash, is a better alternative. However, if you don’t remember to take the trash out every once in a while you will find yourself living in it instead of with it. I need to remind myself to take out the trash every day or I will get used to the smell.

Now, When the trash talking or name calling begins and our enemy tries to shame us into thinking those names have become synonymous with who we really are we can simply take him out and dispose of him on the side of the house.


There is no need for us to live in brokenness, fear, shame and regret. Don’t let anyone tell you different. It’s not what you are called, it’s what you answer to.


  • What if David would have answered to murderer or adulterer? If he had, he would not have been able to answer to “I am a man after God’s own heart.” It’s not what you are called, it’s what you answer to.


  • What if Jacob would have answered to liar or cheater? If he had, he would not have been able to answer to “I am the father of many nations.”  It’s not what you are called, it’s what you answer to.

What I am saying is don’t let past mistakes or failures define who you are. When we live in brokenness we let it define us. When we live with brokenness God uses it for His glory. After all, His power is made perfect in weakness.

We are all broken, we are all messed up and we all know it. The difference is some live with their brokenness and some live in it and I am convinced that if we live with it we will be better leaders, bosses, volunteers, parents, spouses and friends as a result.

In his song, “Hello My Name Is” Matthew West sings,

“Oh, these are the voices. Oh, these are the lies
And I have believed them for the very last time.”

“Hello, my name is child of the one true King
I’ve been saved, I’ve been changed, I have been set free
Amazing Grace" is the song I sing
Hello, my name is child of the one true King” (Watch his Music Video Here)

The next time the names start calling out to you remember this, It’s not what you’re called, it’s what you answer to. Oh, by the way, “Hello, My name is Worthy.”