Have you noticed how much the word “shame” is used in sermons, counseling and bible teaching these days?
All of a sudden it’s the word of the day, as if we’re walking around with a dark cloud over our heads feeling shame for all sorts of things, especially our past.
That may be true since we’re sinners and we don’t do life very well.
Each one of us can probably remember many situations that make us cringe and wish they had never happened.
As I was reading Jeremiah, it struck me how many times the word shame came up in the book. And what impacted me even more was the fact that the real definition of shame is not what we call it today. Today the word has come to mean guilt, dishonor, and a bad conscience. All of which is true because we are sinners. But most of time shame is self-focused, it’s all about me and my feelings.
In Jeremiah the word means walking away from the God who loves you and has redeemed you at the cost of himself. See Jeremiah 13:26-27. The nation of Jews were always turning their backs on him in favor of other gods, which were no gods at all. And it’s that behavior that God calls shameful.
We’re no different. We turn away from God throughout the day in favor of our idols, too. And it’s that which should create real shame in us, knowing that the God who redeemed us is standing right here to help us at every moment of the day and night. That everything we need he’s willing to give us if we would just ask him.
Talk to me.
2 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Shame”
Your post is so encouraging, thank you. Shame can have a powerful influence on us, but Jesus took all our shame on the cross and triumphed over it. What a relief when we truly understand and believe that…
You are so right! The burdens rolls off and we can breathe.