Category Archives: rejection

What Does the Bible Say About Shame?

What does the Bible say about shame? This is the first of a six-part study guide for my book Healing the Hurts of Your Past . You can also download the podcast version.

Let’s start by laying out a biblical foundation for shame.  Shame could really be used as a motif or a framework to read the entire Bible. It goes like this…

What does the Bible say about shame?

God created the world and it was very good. In fact, it was AMAZING. And get this…God created men and women IN HIS IMAGE (See Genesis 1:26-29). You can take that to the bank and close the book on shame right there. Really, what more do you need to convince you of your worth? To deny YOUR worth would be to deny God’s worth and that’s not even possible.

what does the bible say about shame?

What does the Bible say about shame?

The Naked Truth

In Genesis 2:25 it says that they were NAKED and UN-ashamed. The word “naked” means so much more than “not wearing clothes”. After all, they had no concept of clothes. So “naked”  had to mean that nothing was hidden. They were totally vulnerable. Nothing was held back. How many relationships do you have like that?

Glory Lost

But then Adam and Eve chose to disobey and that was a GAME CHANGER. It was like they let the air out of the balloon. Suddenly they looked at each other and felt naked. (See Genesis 3:7). Something had to visibly change with them. I think they previously radiated a glow…a glory. But that disappeared. So they grabbed for anything they could find to cover themselves… to hide the loss of glory.

I speculate this to be true because after Moses spent time on Mt. Sinai with God it says that he radiated the glory of God (see Exodus 34:29-34). When the glory faded Moses COVERED HIS FACE to hide the fact that he lost the glory. Hmmm…sounds familiar.

Hiding is the essence of shame. You cover up your imperfections because you believe  they disqualify you from engaging with others. You present a false self, an imposter, just to fit in. As a result all your relationships are superficial never fully connecting in intimacy and never producing the joy that only intimacy can offer.

The rest of the Bible is about recovering lost glory…overcoming shame and regaining their God-given value.  It isn’t until Jesus comes on the scene that humanity regains their glory. Jesus says to his Father…I have given them the glory that you gave me (John 17:22).

Glory Regained

Flashback to the creation story when God created us in his image… once again God shares his glory with his human creation.

What this means is that our value doesn’t come from our daily performance (what have you done for me lately?). It is conferred upon us by God. It’s a gift. You can’t earn it and you can’t lose it.  Once you believe this and let it really sink into the depths of your soul you will be FEARLESS. No one can take this away from you. No foolishness on your part can disqualify you from it.

I think this is one of the BEST MESSAGES in the Bible.  This is “shout it from the housetop” kind of stuff.  If you think so too then maybe you can at least click a link below and share it with a few friends!

Download the radio interview podcast here.

Question: What questions do you have  about what the Bible says about shame? Leave your question or comment below.

Defining the Pain of Shame

Defining the Pain of Shame

Defining the Pain of Shame

The Bible is right. Somewhere… somehow… something went seriously wrong. We lost our way and fell short of what we were created to be.

None of us are perfect, yet… we long for perfection. When we miss the mark, it feels bad. For some it’s a fleeting twinge of pain that comes on occasion. For other’s it’s a stabbing pain that stalks them daily.

That’s shame.

Shame is a sense of worthlessness, a sense of being defective.

Someone described it to me once as being “damaged goods”… like you are a dropped product in a store and so you get removed from the shelf and tossed in the back, waiting to be thrown out. You’ve lost your value. And because of that you have this overriding sense of not belonging, not fitting in.

Shame also involves the fear of exposure.

YOU know that you are defective but the game of life is to keep other people from knowing it. It’s bad enough to BE flawed, but it’s doubly bad to have the world gawking at your flaws, either shaking their head in derision or laughing at your futility.

Shame causes you to live in a fear of rejection.

If you are flawed and don’t fit in, then it’s only natural that when you are exposed that you will be rejected. Who wants to associate with a loser?

It’s no wonder that shames causes so much pain.

Inherent to shame are the lies we believe.

Where there are no lies there is no shame. It’s the lies of shame that cause us to leap from the idea of “damaged” to “worthless” or from “flawed”to “forgettable”. That’s why it’s so important to find a source outside of ourselves that defines our worth. If we return to the God that created us we’ll find that he’s not there to condemn us but give us the value that he always intended for us to have. That’s where healing begins.

Question: What causes you the pain of shame? Leave your comment below.