Have you ever been shamed by people for coloring outside their lines? Anyone who’s done something outside society’s norms knows there will be voices who tell us we are bad. Shame is so painful, we try to avoid it.

But there is another shame kindled inside us when we forfeit our own truth, not behaving the way our conscience demands for the sake of people’s approval. It’s hard to be honest in a society that says “Put your best foot forward,” or if your family thinks it’s your job to make them look good.

When we choose not to honor our own need to align with status-quo, we tell ourselves that what we need is wrong and therefore, we are wrong.

We can let go the idea that if we acquiesce to society, we will avoid shame and the pain that comes with it. We will not.

If your first reaction to this dilemma is to make other people comfortable at your own expense, I understand. For a lot of us this feels like a no-brainer because it’s been demanded of us over and over again, often by people we love.

But you deserve to live by your conscience, doing what’s right and true between you and God. It may make people uncomfortable. Jesus made lots of people uncomfortable, but He did a lot of good too. He brought comfort to people who society never bothered to ask if they were comfortable.

People will tell you your behavior is tasteless and some will say it’s an abomination, but God is not concerned with society or culture’s evaluation of us. He’s not even concerned with what church people say about us. He’s concerned that you are living your truth and that the truth is setting you free.              John 8:31, 32 & 15:18-25