Letting Go of Shame

Shame. We’ve all felt it at some point, but did you know shame was one of the first emotions after the Fall? In Genesis 3, Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit and that their eyes were opened. They knew that they were naked – they became self-conscious of their own weakness, their own vulnerability. What did they do? They hid in shame.

Adam and Eve tried to deal with the shame on their own terms; they tried to cover it. They covered themselves with fig leaves. Shame causes us to try and cover our mess with inadequate means. We do the same thing. We try to hide our shame by dressing pretty, by working so hard or so much to cover our imperfections (If others think I’m perfect, they won’t know who I really am), We drink. We say or do things to hurt others. The problem with covering ourselves with fig leaves is that they ALWAYS fall apart.

God in his grace made the first sacrifice when he killed an animal to make clothing suitable for Adam and Eve. This was a foreshadowing of what was to come. The Bible teaches that without the shedding of blood their is no forgiveness of sin.

God knew animal sacrifices would never be enough to take away our sin and shame so he sent Christ to make atonement for our sin. He who knew no sin became sin for us. He took our punishment. He took on our shame and our guilt so that we no longer have to offer personal sacrifices. He was the ultimate sacrifice.

Shame is humiliation. Sometimes we feel shame because of something we did. However, when we live with shame long enough it morphs into the belief that there is something inherently wrong with you. Well, in one sense that’s true. We are bad – Romans 3:23 but we’ve been forgiven. Jesus has removed our sin from the east to the west if we’ve received his free gift of salvation. . There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.

Lie of world:  I am enough.

          You are not enough and that’s ok. He is enough.

2 Cor 10:5 – We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Every thought captive:  I am worthless. No one will love me. I’m unforgiveable. No one wants me.

          These are shaming words.

How do we take these thoughts captive? We combat them with scripture.

  • I am worthless – “While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me.”
  • No one will love me – “For God so loved…”
  • I’m unforgiveable – “If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us.
  • No one wants me – “I have gone to prepare a place for you.” He wants to spend eternity with us.

Instead of listening to the lies the world offers, or even the ones in our own minds, we need to immerse ourselves in the Word. We need to cling to the Truth of scripture. Then, and only then, will we find freedom from shame.

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