Shame is defined as a painful feeling of distress and humiliation caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. The Bible illustrates shame immediately following Adam and Eve breaking God’s only rule, “do not eat from the tree of knowledge,” Genesis 2:16-17. This couple responded to shame by hiding from God, ashamed of what they have just done.
Then the eyes of the two of them were opened [that is, their awareness increased], and they knew that they were naked; and they fastened fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden, Genesis 3:7-8.
The human conscience is like a built in GPS device for morality. When an act of kindness are performed, helpful hands extend a word of encouragement which results in a sense of warmth to my soul. Yet, whenever my own mouth spits out poison, guilt strikes me like an invisible punch in the gut. When bad outweighs the good, shame alters your mood and influences your mind.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who by faith have testified to the truth of God’s absolute faithfulness], stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us, let us run with endurance and active persistence the race that is set before us, 2 [looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work], Hebrews 12:1-2.
One of the ways this is accomplished is through ungodly beliefs instilled within you by family, friends and peers. Words such as “you’re not good enough and you’ll never amount to anything” serve as wounds to the soul. If these ungodly beliefs aren’t replaced by godly beliefs from the Bible, shame will rewrite your story. The consequences of shame could be eternal. Therefore, if you are tired of hiding from God, reach out to Jesus who disregarded shame by enduring the cross and rising from the dead.
by Jay Mankus