How do we deal with shame?

I had the privilege this past Sunday to speak at a church on the subject of shame.  Because of how powerful shame can be I thought I would basically blog my sermon.  Here it is:

What is shame? Guilt says I feel bad for doing wrong. Shame says I feel worthless because there is something wrong with me.

Where did shame come from? (Genesis 3) When Adam and Eve sinned there eyes were opened, and they realized they were naked.  In Genesis 2:25 they were naked with no shame, but the moment they sinned, in their nakedness they felt shame.

What does shame cause us to do?

  • Cover up (Genesis 3:7)
  • Hide (Genesis 3:8)
  • Be afraid (Genesis 3:10)
  • Blame others (Genesis 3:12-13)

We all do this.  We battle shame.  We want to cover up or hide.  We are afraid of God, or if we are not careful, we blame others for our problems.  There is one thought however I find really neat.  It is this:

God looks for us in the midst of our shame (Genesis 3:8-9).  God still went walking in the cool of the day looking for Adam and Eve knowing they had sinned.  God could turn His back on us in our shame, but instead, He meets us right in the middle of it.  He demonstrated that most emphatically through Christ.

Christ encounters a woman in John 8 who felt a ton of shame, but he did not condemn her.  Even though He has the power to do so.  What is the point?

Only Jesus can really condemn us (John 8:7).  He will condemn those who do not know Him, but I love what He tells the woman in John 8.

Through trust in Him & His cross we are not condemned (John 8:11).  Praise the Lord!!!!

Shame often comes from sin, and even drives us to sin more. The cross motivates us & empowers us to leave our life of sin (John 8:11).

Could we like the woman be freed and empowered to leave our lives of sin and to follow Jesus with everything we have!

If you want to listen to my sermon from Sunday online, you can click on this link:

How do we deal with shame sermon




One comment

  1. HI Josh,

    Wow, I really like your insights about shame, especially the most important truth of all: that God looks for Adam (and us) even when we have really blown it and are feeling a lot of shame! Thank you for reminding us of this. Jim

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