Have you ever screwed up and just wanted to hide away somewhere forever?
I have many times! The truth is that we all struggle with shame.
Shame is that sinking feeling in your stomach when you know you messed up and your mind just keeps re-playing those awful moments like one of those brutal sports "replay modes" where it shows the player falling over and over again, sometimes in slow motion. I know, I said it was brutal.
But what is shame really? Where did it come from? and most importantly how can we get rid of it?
Great questions :)
T H E O R I G I N A L P L A N
"Adam & his wife were naked and felt no shame." (Gen 2:25)
In a perfect world there would be no shame. In God's original plan for creation shame was not part of the equation. Shame did not exists in the garden of Eden.
The reason why we struggle so much with connecting to God, to others and to ourselves is because we lack vulnerability. This is what Adam and Eve had in the garden when they were able to be naked before God. Vulnerability creates intimacy.
Vulnerability is not only how we connect to others within our relationships but it forms deep intimacy (closeness) which results in giving birth/life to new things.
David is an example of shamelessness before God.
It says "David danced half naked before the Lord." (2 Sam.) He was an unpolished worshipper who was constantly, unapologetically, honest with God.
We see that throughout the Psalms as he pours out his heart before God in some of the most vulnerable, raw, text of the entire bible. Maybe that's why he was called a man after God's own heart. God is seeking that same vulnerability with us because that is the only way we can walk with Him in the closeness we were created to thrive in.
David's wife, Michal, despised these characteristics - more concerned with the opinion of others than to see the value in her husband's actions. Because of this "she was barren all her life and never had any children." (2 Sam. 6)
God is telling us something important here.
If we reject vulnerability and stay trapped in shame we will never birth what he's placed within us. We will never live out the abundant life God has for us if we allow shame is keep it's grip on on our lives.
S H A K I N G O F S H A M E
What is shame?
Shame is: a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
Shame is the fear that we are not good enough. It is insecurity in disguise. It is a powerful drive that causes us to become filled with fear and hide to avoid humiliation.
Yet, we know that we were created perfectly (In God's image) & we were born with God's stamp of approval on us from the very start (God saw us and called us "very good.")
So what happened?
C O M E O U T O F H I D I N G
When Adam & Eve sinned, shame entered into our world. Now, instead of walking with God in intimacy & closeness - we hide ourselves from his Presence. We often hide ourselves from the world.
"I was afraid because I was naked & hid myself." (Gen. 3:10)
Fear creeps into our hearts and causes us to hide our light under a basket & snuff out our flame.
Shame is the ultimate tool satan uses to try and separate us from God and secure his torment in our minds. Not so sure about that? Let me prove it to you.
God's response to Adam was "who told you that you were naked?"
Basically saying "what other voices have you been listening to you?" This shows us that shame doesn't come from God and we cannot tolerate it in our lives.
"The enemy knows that if we feel wrong on the inside, we'll never become who we were created to be. That's why he works overtime to try to bring guilt and shame, to make you feel as though you don't deserve to be blessed." - Joel Osteen
"O God, You know my foolishness; and my sins are not hidden from you." (Psalm. 69:5)
Side effect of shame:
When we allow shame to rule us, blame comes into the picture. We can't handle owning our mistakes so we put it on someone else. This makes it impossible to engage in a healthy relationship with that person because they're never willing to take ownership for what they did wrong.
O U R C O V E R I N G
The first sacrifice of the bible:
"God made tunics of skin, and clothed them." (Gen. 3:21)
If you've ever wondered what the first sacrifice ever made was in the bible, this is it!
Just like God sacrificed in order to clothe Adam & Eve God has made the biggest sacrifice of all, His only son, to clothe us and take away our sin.
God has made the biggest sacrifice ever to "clothe us with garments of salvation & robes of righteousness." (Isaiah 61:10)
Because of that sacrifice we no longer need to live in shame but can come boldly to the throne of grace. We can be vulnerable and transparent before God because he has covered our sin with his love and mercy.
"God said to the children of Israel "This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." The word reproach means "shame, blame, disgrace." They couldn't go into the Promised Land with the shame of feeling unworthy and not valuable. In the same way before you can reach your highest potential, you have to get rid of any shame." - Joel Osteen
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look at him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame." (Psalm 34:4)