Shame is nothing new. Its origin is from the garden. Look at what Adam and Eve experienced when they sinned. They were afraid, they tried to cover up their nakedness and then they hid. What caused them to hide? Shame was at the core of Adam and Eve’s fall. Not only did they hide, but they started to blame.
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3:7)
First, Adam blamed God and then he blamed Eve: “And the man said, the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.” (Genesis 3:12) Can you hear Adam? “The woman whom THOU gavest to be with me…” In other words he was saying, “If YOU had never given me this woman, I wouldn’t be in this predicament!” Adam became the first official “buck-passer.”
Secondly, Adam blamed Eve: “…SHE gave me of the tree!” I imagine he realized what he said as soon as he began to place the blame on God, so he attempted to redeem himself by continuing his blame-placing. Of course, no one forced Adam to participate in something he knew to be against God’s specific command, but he would not accept the blame. Indeed, he passed the buck once again.
Thirdly, Eve blamed the serpent: “And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” Alas, she laid the blame on the serpent by declaring if the serpent hadn’t tempted her, she never would have ate of the forbidden tree. The buck was passed again.
They blamed each other, they blamed the serpent. What do we do when we feel shame? We hide. We blame. We try to cover up our “real” self. We place the blame on everyone and everything other than ourselves. We follow the pattern set by the first man and woman – we pass the buck.
Shame is toxic. It is subtle. It is cunning. And, it wears many masks. Shame gives us a sense of worthlessness and the idea that we do not “measure up”. A shame-based personality will, typically, guard themselves from revealing who they really are. They hide in the bushes and cover themselves with fig leaves. Guilt keeps that cover-up in place because they are afraid to reveal too much of their real self.
We project shame on to others because we want to attribute the sense of ashamedness that we feel onto the other person so that we can alleviate our own guilt and pain. These are lies that need to be exposed. Exposing the lies brings freedom. The good news is that we can be set free because truth makes us free. When we are free, then we are able to bring deliverance to our marriages and to our families. With God all things are possible.
Remember that God is deeply concerned about you. He loves you dearly, and He sees you as extremely valuable and worthwhile. His desire is to bring you to health and wholeness. Place your trust in him, for He will never, never, never leave you nor forsake you.
May His lavish blessings be upon you today and every day.
Father, there are so many times when I pick up the mask and try to hide who I am and what I have done, full of guilt and shame, so often without ever stopping to realize what I’m doing. Lord, I thank You for the blood of the Spotless Lamb that makes me free, cleanses me and purifies my heart so I can walk “naked and unashamed” before You. Purify my heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me, free from guilt and shame, full of power in the Blood of the Lamb to walk free from bondage to guilt and shame. In Jesus’ name, Amen and Amen.
“If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)
© Jan Ross
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