Definition: An unpleasant emotional reaction by an individual to an actual, or presumed, negative judgment of himself by others, resulting in self-depreciation.
Shame is the first emotion mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 2:25. “Adam and Eve were both naked and not ashamed.”
Tyndale’s translation (paraphrased) records the incident of the first sin and eating the forbidden fruit as follows: “So she ate of some of the fruit, and gave some to her husband, and he ate it too. And as they ate it, suddenly they became aware of their nakedness, and were embarrassed. So, they strung fig leaves together to cover themselves around the hips. That evening they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden, and they hid themselves among the trees. The Lord God called to Adam, ‘Why are you hiding? And Adam replied, ‘I heard you coming and didn’t want you to see me naked, so I hid.” (Genesis 3:7-10).
The word naked, “Erwah,” symbolizes “shame” and is a different word from the word” Arom,” meaning “to be without clothing.” “Erwah” appears to emphasize the shame that results from the violation of moral and social laws, and the law of conscience. We prior to being born-again are subjected to the violation of these laws which can bring serious mental damage to our emotions.
Shame becomes toxic when we allow someone (or someone forces us) to break our boundaries of morality. See the rape of Tamar, in 2 Samuel 13. Shame not only disfigures our inner conscience-self, but it alters our social conscience-self; when this happens, “fragmentation of soul” can result (Psalm 7:2). This topic will be covered latter.
Shame breeds shame.
Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones in his book, I Am Not Ashamed, makes an interesting statement: “I now want to put before you the Biblical view of man. The Apostle Paul puts into his letter to Timothy in a very interesting phrase. Come back to this great work of his, for which cause I also suffer these things. Nevertheless, I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded—I am perfectly certain, I am perfectly satisfied.” Paul in this passage, is expressing that our faith, our believing in Christ, should be sufficient for us in all things, in all circumstances, and in every situation. Unfortunately, not all of us have arrived in this place of “Blessed assurance,” and we are not fully purged from the iniquities of the past (2 Timothy 2:19-21).
The hidden things of Shame.
Please read Romans 6:19-21 (Amp) and 2 Corinthians 4:1-2. (Amp). In these two Scriptures, unresolved moral conflict will cause shame. Sin should not reign in the believer’s heart. Paul’s use of the word “reign” in Romans 6:12, is “Basileuo” and means “to exercise kingly power.” It means to stop allowing our sinful nature to reign as king in our mortal body. It is the believer’s responsibility to keep sin from mounting onto the throne of the heart.
Instead of the blood of Christ cleansing the inward heart, shame becomes a covering.
A person in this condition may outwardly express a life of holiness, but deep inside there are secret thoughts, feelings and desires. It is these disgraceful things that rob us of our true beauty or nature of Christ. The personality becomes marred, and we lose the image of Christ within. This will produce discouragement and lethargy in out ward manifestation. Here is where shame covers the spirit, stealing its inner power and strength. The person will become despondent and timid, and the person becomes weary and exhausted.
The inner secret thought, feelings and desires must be confessed after we renounce the shame. Our Lord Jesus said, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are downtrodden; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” (Luke 4:18-19).
How does one get set free.
See 2 Corinthians 4:2 Amplified. The second prayer is a guideline for the “renunciation of Shame.” In the name of Jesus, I come to the cross of Christ where all structures are broken. I renounce all generational shame that came from my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. I renounce the curse of shame of and poverty. I renounce all personal shame and embarrassment. I release myself from the cycle of shame caused by my own sin or someone’s sin against me. I renounce all family familiar spirits of shame that oppress me, my family, my children’s children. I forgive my forefathers for their sin that caused the curse of shame to come upon me. Thank You Lord Jesus for releasing me from shame.
Blessings to you in Jesus name.