Unashamed: Sources of Shame

9 March 08


1.      Introduction:

·   Genesis 2:25  - “They were both naked, the man and his wife and they were not ashamed”.

·   God’s original design for man – to be unashamed – connected, confident and creative.

·   Shame is an enemy that attaches to people and steals their identity and intimacy.


·   Genesis 3:7-10  -  “I was afraid because I was naked and I hid myself”.

-    When sin entered Adam lost his covering of Glory – he was damaged by sin.

-    Adam became conscious of being different – he was ashamed.

-    Adam and Eve covered themselves  - with fig leaves – verse 7

-    Concealed themselves – amongst the trees of the garden – verse 8


·   Genesis 3:21  -  “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made garments of skin and clothed them”.

·   Adam and Eve had to remove their covering to receive what God provided.

·   God provided a suitable covering for them.

·   God’s covering required the death / shedding of blood of an innocent animal.

·   This is a prophetic picture of God’s willingness to remove our shame by the Cross.


2.      Sources of Shame:

     1)   Our own sin:

·   Proverbs 14:34  -  “Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people”.

·   Reproach = to put to shame, humiliate.

·   Our own actions can be a cause of embarrassment and shame.

·   Romans 3:23  -  ‘All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”.


     2)  Demonic Spirits:

·   Genesis 3:11  -  “Who told you, you were naked?”

·   Adam and Eve were vulnerable because of their sin and changed condition.

·   Most likely the devil came and exposed them to ridicule, pointing out their nakedness.

·   Satan made them aware of their nakedness and impending judgment.

·   Revelation 12:10  -  “The accuser of the brethren …who accused them day and night”.

Satan = one who hurls accusations against us to shame and belittle us.

·   E.g. Nehemiah 2:19-20  -  “The enemies of God’s people shame and ridicule them.  Nehemiah arises and Unashamedly throws of the shaming”.


3)  Shaming Actions of Others:

·         When others shame us the pain and grief is usually internalized.

·         We begin to agree with the shame message:  ‘Something is wrong with me’.

·         Examples:

1.      Unborn child – takes on the shame of his mother.

2.      Sexual abuse – something forced on them which they never wanted.

3.      Physical abuse – hitting, beating, hair-pulling, slapping face, angry hitting (child takes on the shame as if it is his/her fault).

4.      Verbal abuse  -  name calling, scolding, labeling, constant criticism.

5.      Shaming emotions  -  ‘boy’s don’t cry’, ‘you shouldn’t think like that’.

6.      Unfavorable comparison  - ‘why can’t you be like your brother’.

7.      Manipulation / control  -  ‘If you love me you will’.

8.      Constant blaming / criticism

9.      Rescuing  -  taking too much responsibility for others (e.g. parents rescuing children, overprotect)

10.  Financial neglect or poverty  -  personal value based on $

11.  Teachers ridicule  -  in front of peers.

12.  Born wrong sex  -  girls never properly valued, compared unfavourable to boys.

13.  Divorce  -  children can feel shame of broken family.

14.  Male Chauvinism  -   dishonoring and put down woman, treat as sex object.

15.  Ethnic shaming  -  treated as inferior or with prejudice.

16.   Media shame  -  constant communication of inferiority – appearance, possessions, positions, e.g. Barbie Dolls.

17.  Church shaming  - judgmental attitudes, pride and superiority.


·   Shaming = making people feel they are damaged, lacking, inferior.


3.      Breaking Free of Shame:

·   Shame is:

a.     An accusing spirit  that torments.

b.     An emotional pain and bondage.

c.     A way of thinking, viewing God and self.


·   Keys for breaking free:

1.      Come to Christ  -  the One who bore our shame.

2.      Break the Attachments to Shame.

3.      Change the Inner Beliefs;

-          How you see God

-          How you see Yourself.

4.      Change the Way you Relate to people;

-          refuse to be shamed

-          refuse to shame others

-          refuse to compare with others


Key 1  -  Come to Christ:

·   Jesus bore our shame, He understands our suffering.

·   Isaiah 50:6-7  -  Jesus chose to pay the full price for shame.

·   Hebrews 12:2  -  Jesus despised His pain.

·   Matthew 27:27-31   -  Jesus was cruelly shamed by soldiers.

-          Jesus was stripped – abused – shamed – ridiculed.

-          The Crucifixion was a means of death and of public shame.

-          Jesus’ shame was labialized in 3 languages – for all to see.

-          Jesus bore our shame on the Cross.      John 1:12;   2 Corinthians 5:7