What Causes Shame? – Study Guide 2

shame

What causes shame?

This is part two to an overview of my book  Healing the Hurts of the Past; a guide to overcoming the pain of shame.  You can also listen to a radio interview that covered this in more detail. We looked at what causes shame.

The second interview covered what I call the “roots of shame” following my model of the Shame  Tree. We spend most of our time reflecting on abuse but here are the five areas discussed in the book:

  1. Abuse
  2. Ridicule
  3. Neglect
  4. Family and Personal Secrets
  5. Trauma

What Causes Shame?

When I talk about shame most people assume I’m talking about feeling ashamed for the bad things you’ve done. But in reality shame has more to do with things that have been DONE TO  YOU. The bad things you’ve done can lead to shame but more often guilt. I discussed the difference between shame and guilt in a previous post (see below).

The Lies of Shame

The most important thing to understand about the cause of shame is that it’s not an event that causes shame. It’s the LIES YOU BELIEVE about that event. Where there are no lies there is no shame. It’s the lies that breathe life into your shame.  For example, when you are abused you might believe the lie...If this important authority figure is abusing me they must know something about me that I don’t. I must be worthless. 

Overcoming Shame

The connection between events and the lies we believe is actually good news because if you can deal with the lies in your life you can ELIMINATE THE SHAME. If shame was directly tied to the events then there would be no escaping the pain of shame.   But lies can be exposed as false and when that happens freedom follows.  If what causes shame is lies. Then truth is what will overcome shame.

The truth that we all need to know is that God loves us unconditionally and no person can take that away from us. When we fully receive this truth and allow it to penetrate our being we will be new people. Pray that this will be so in your life!

I talked about much more on the podcast and answered some live call-in questions. I hope you can take the time to give it a listen!  Why not get the book and join  in  the study?

  • WWIB Radio Podcast: What Causes Shame?
  • Study Guide 1: What Does the Bible Say About Shame? (readingremy.com)
  • Shame: Do You Feel Like Damaged Goods? (readingremy.com)
  • The Difference Between Shame and Guilt (readingremy.com)
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9 thoughts on “What Causes Shame? – Study Guide 2

  1. Sue

    I was blamed by my father for many things, growing up, that as an adult I can see so clearly were NOT my fault, but I feel shame, nonetheless. That shame has affected me and all of my relationships in so many ways. I have perpetuated that lie over and over again. In my search for true freedom, you encourage me to know that once the lie goes away, the shame will too. Thank you.

    I am amazed at God’s Great Love for us. I don’t know where I would be without this amazing Heavenly Father, where my own earthly one did damage.

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      Thanks for sharing Sue. It’s so important to understand that God’s truth is more powerful than your father’s lies. If your dad’s negative thoughts could influence you in a negative just think how God’s truth can impact you in a positive way! But it is a process. Be patient with yourself as God’s truth slowly replaces the lies and sets you free.

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