What is your experience of shame? Usually we don’t recognize the ways shame affects us. It lurks well under the surface of our lives stealthily affecting our decision making and actions.
Shame can be defined many ways, but let's think of it as humiliation or distress that attaches to a person’s identity as result of wrong or foolish thought or behavior. These thoughts and behaviors can be our own or those of another toward us.
Adam and Eve were described in the Garden as naked, yet without shame before God or each other. (Genesis 2:25) However, after their sinful rebellion (the Fall) all people throughout history have struggled with shame-infected identities.
Shame is closely tied to feelings and fears, primarily the fear of being found out as flawed, weak, a failure or morally wrong. It leads people – as it did Adam and Eve in Genesis 3 - to hide from each other and/or from God. We hide so we won’t be found out. The more shame we feel, the...
Do you walk through life with your head held lower than is needed? Are you hindered or tangled up by accusations, misunderstandings and/or sin? Have you somehow come to believe that this marred, somewhat hopeless life must be all that God has for you? Deep down – often deeper than you'd like to go – do you feel harassed and helpless?
It might be that you have tried to address your “stuff.” Possibly you’ve acknowledged your need and/or errors to God, and even tried your best to change and walk in a better direction. Yet, somehow, you keep finding yourself back in the mud. The enemy may taunt you with Scripture, saying, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.” (Proverbs 26:11)
Often the way out of bondage is simple, but a little scary. We may need to involve others in the process. James encourages us to "confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. The...