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Do you SHOULD all over yourself?: Part 2

What does Scripture Say about Shame?

We first see shame in the garden in Genesis 3, right after Adam and Eve ate the apple. Two people who formally knew no shame all of a sudden only know to hide. Genesis 3:7-10 says,

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”

For the first time man was exposed. He was vulnerable and he knew it. So, he hid. He isolated himself and he covered himself. This is the result of shame…to hide.

This is what we do with that tape that plays in the recesses of our minds that says,

“I’m unacceptable. There is something wrong with me.”

We hide from each other and we try to hide from God…a cycle which always leads to more fear, more shame, and more hiding…covering up, running, and sinful/distressing solutions and strategies.

We all hide, attempting to cope with or work out our shame the best way we know how, in our own unique and individualized ways.

We use humor, pride, sex, our intelligence, busyness, materialism and things.

We hide by playing the victim or the hero.

By being overweight or thin.

With alcohol or drugs.

Behind our ability to perform in the world. To be well liked.

By trying to control others.

Most of us hide behind the guise of “I’m f.i.n.e.”

(which is really just an acronym for feelings inside not expressed, by the way).

Ultimately, we hide in an effort to prevent people from knowing our secret, that there is something wrong with us…that we are broken.

Ironically, revealing our secret, the very thing we fear the most, is the very thing that begins to set us free from the grip and lies of shame.

Healing happens as we begin to bring darkness to light, bring what’s hidden into the open, and combat the lies of our irrational beliefs with truth. Sometimes this is done in the counseling office, other times its done as you live authentically in your relationships with others. Either way, it’s always done best in the context of relationship.

What lies are you ready to combat today and who are you willing to combat them with? Will you show yourself compassion as you wrestle through the process of change?

This is the second post in a series about Shame ... see Part 1

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