If you’ve ever been on a trip to a specific destination, there is nothing more troublesome and annoying than seeing a detour sign or even worse, a roadblock. A detour sign may take us miles out of our chosen way, sometimes in unfamiliar territory which can consume a lot of time and energy.

A roadblock usually doesn’t offer any other alternative than to turn around and go back the way we came. There is nothing more disheartening than to see a roadblock up ahead and countless cars rushing by on the opposite side returning from the same way you’ve come.

Shame can be at best a detour, and at worst a roadblock, to our emotional and spiritual well-being.

Shame as a Detour

Returning to God and feeling His love after a period of turning away through sin and addictive behavior, such as drug use, can be a lot like taking a detour and finally arriving back on the road we wanted to travel. God provides many chances for us to learn and grow, to make mistakes, and to change and rectify those mistakes and return on the path to where He is. How can attending therapy, especially therapy given by a Christ-centered counselor help? Here are some examples of clients who have overcome shame to feel joy in turning away from their old behaviors.

*A drug-addicted young man feels shame from his behavior (he had stolen from fellow church members to feed his habit) but learns from his therapist: “Our heavenly Father loves you.”

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1

*A woman is ashamed of her recent affair and feels it is impossible to be forgiven by her husband or the Lord is told in therapy: “It’s not so much about who we are, but who He is.”

*A young man consumed with shame by his pornography use is counseled: “Be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.” Matthew 9:2

Shame as a Roadblock

Shame as a roadblock tells us something completely different than shame as a detour. With a detour, the client has a knowledge that while they have made some missteps, at their heart they know Christ died for their sins and that change is possible. It’s their actions that are at fault not their core being. Shame as a roadblock doesn’t feel passable, it’s not someone’s actions that are at fault, but one’s innermost being.

A person with shame may feel that if people really knew them, they would see how contemptible, inadequate, inferior, disgusting, flawed, dirty, and unacceptable they are. As counselors we have to look at the root causes of shame and lead a client to the realization of who they really are: a beloved child of God with infinite possibility and worth because of their status as a joint-heir of Christ.


God’s road is a scenic highway that will never have any detours or roadblocks of His creation. He does not erect roadblocks or obstacles for us to detour around, He removes them. His pathway is righteous, straight, and leads to eternal life. His way is designed to bring you to Him, not keep you out.

Christ’s taking on all our sins, even the ones that bring you the most shame, and His death on the cross removes everything that would take us from our pathway home. As Lutheran Family Service counselors, we see this happen for our clients every day. Reach out today.

Lutheran Family Service counselor, Lindy Hinckley, tLMFT, serves individuals, couples, and families in person in Deadwood, South Dakota, and throughout the state via telehealth.

If you or someone you love desires the transformative change brought from eliminating shame and accepting grace, refer to or contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Lutheran Family Service walks with those experiencing difficult times through mental health counseling, marriage counseling, crisis pregnancy counseling, and adoption services.



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