Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. Genesis 2:25
This verse has always intrigued me, because the author of Genesis, Moses, must have been reflecting on how awesome it was back then, before sin came into the world. (More information on how we know Moses wrote Genesis:http://christiananswers.net/q-aig/aig-c021.html)
When we run across that verse, we may stop and ponder how strange that must have been – to feel no shame. Why is it that nakedness can be shameful? If you do a word search for shame in the Bible you will see shame in verses about sexual sins, incest, sexual abuse, stealing, wars lost, forsaking God, idolatry…..
What researchers know today is that shame comes from self loathing, feeling like you are not worthy, and you do not belong. When you make a mistake, you may feel guilty and say that the mistake was bad and apologize. Someone with shame, will say, “I am bad.” Shame is a primitive emotion, that is hard to really see when we cover it up with guilt, or other emotions. But shame is worthy of looking at, because in the Garden of Eden, shame did not exist and that was a good thing.
Dr. Brene’ Brown shared in her TED talk that we try to numb certain emotions like shame with addictions but you cannot isolate out a single emotion. You numb yourself to feel no shame, you also numb yourself to feel no joy, happiness, self-control. That’s dangerous. Her answer through many years of research is vulnerability. When we agree to open the wound, the issue, and deal with it, we can live wholeheartedly.
She learned from folks in her research who were healthy that they had a strong sense of “I’m worthy, I belong.” Those who were overcome with shame had constant thoughts of “I’m not worthy, I don’t belong.” And, that those who were vulnerable and had shameful things happen to them, embraced it as beauty, overcoming the wound, and using it to help others.
I love the verse where Jesus TOOK all our shame:
Hebrews 12: ERV
“But he accepted the shame of the cross as if it were nothing because of the joy he could see waiting for him. And now he is sitting at the right side of God’s throne. 3 Think about Jesus. He patiently endured the angry insults that sinful people were shouting at him. Think about him so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying.”
Jesus full of grace and mercy took the shame of the world on His back with Joy, for He knew what awaited Him and you – the promise of Heaven and eternity with Him.
Think about Him
so that you won’t get discouraged and stop trying!
Take note of your thoughts. Are you quick to say or feel, “I am bad?” Are you numbing certain emotions with addictions, controlling others and situations at all costs, or using negative power over others/manipulation?
Remember Jesus took care of this when He died on the cross! If you continue to be in bondage because of shame, seek help. Jesus wants you to know and experience His Joy! You are loved! And the most amazing thing is that He took the shame of every action, vile offense, thought, issue, and event. It’s not just the emotion or feeling of shame, but every single detail of the CAUSE of your shame. Oh gosh. That made me tear up….. Thank you Jesus……
Think about Him
Below is the TED talk on Dr. Brown’s research on Shame. Remember she is a researcher. And, she has a few words in there that you would not want your children to hear, but it’s minimal.