Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Moving Beyond Shame

Moving Beyond Shame

Genesis 3

Here is my rough draft of a teaching.
Band of Brothers, men stuck in foxholes. Bullets wizzing overhead. The captain calls, "Get up and move out." Shellshocked, some cannot move. Then the Captain comes over and strengthens their spirit. The soldier is rejuvenated & moves out, inaffected by the violent sounds around him.

Satan is like an enemy. Shame an ammo of choice. With shame, he tries to keep forgiven men and women pinned down.
Satan has a plan, to steal life, effective work, kill people and destroy men and women. He intends to fill you with shame, and then leave you there, hopefully powerless, hidden behind a mask, and ineffective to do what God has called you to do. God has a different plan for those who sin, however!

Have you ever seen the birthday candles that keep relighting? You blow them out, move on with talking, and the little things spark back to life! Again you blow them out, again they spark to life. Shame is a lot like this. You deal with it, and sometimes it keeps sparking back shining for attention. So before we dig into moving beyond shame, let's remind ourselves what shame is.

Shame- a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

Two distinct domains that shame is expressed are the consciousness of self as bad and the other is self as inadequate. ^ Edward Teyber; Faith Teyber (2010). Interpersonal Process in Therapy: An Integrative Model. Cengage Learning. p. 137. ISBN 0-495-60420-8.

It plays a central role in many psychological disorders as well, including depression, paranoia, addiction, and borderline conditions. Sexual disorders and many eating disorders are largely disorders of shame. Both physical abuse and sexual abuse also significantly involve shame.

Also, "...shame has been found to be a very strong predictor of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder...".[22]     ^ Susmita Thukral. "Understanding Shame and Humiliation in Torture". ORLJ 4859, Fall 2004, Teachers College, Columbia University.<"Archived copy" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-03-14. Retrieved 2006-01-26. >

In some circles of psychology, shame is an enemy of progress. In the Judeo-Christian worldview, shame (not embarrassment-which is public) is to drive us to the precious cross! It should be a catalyst to progress, a warning light-letting us know that we need God’s help, grace, kindness, and righteousness. It lets us know that we need to cry out to God, due to wrong living. Then, when either coming to Jesus or being reminded that he bore our shame (Is. 53:3, 2 Cor. 5:21) can move past shame, and move on towards joy and effective living.

Question: Do you carry shame with you? What are you ashamed of? What is that stubborn sin that keeps creeping up, making it hard to mortify?

Do you carry the weight of shame over things that you have done? What are you going to do about it? Is there a way to be free from this shame, or is it something that will weigh you down for life? Is God willing to remove your shame?

Book & Look: Genesis 3

1. The sin: (3:1-6) What was Satan’s intent here? To help man, or to destroy man?

1 Now [u] the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden,

3 but God said, [v] ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”

4  [w] But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.

5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit [x] and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, [y] and he ate.


1. disobeyed God (in their mind, heart, and action).

Mind- fruit>God,

heart- desired to taste it,

Actions- ate it, watched Eve eat it (failure in leadership), ate himself (either due to taste, or out of passion to be like Eve).

2. They also disobeyed the word of God to fulfill their own pleasures.

3. They also chose Satanic leadership over God’s leadership, thus doubting God’s good character.

4. They usurped the protective, good, caring, life-giving leadership of God, and stubbornly chose their own way of doing things.

We do this too. 

1. “Why do we do what we do? Because we want what we want.” (See James 1:14-15)

2. We have desires, in our flesh, that are of flesh (Galatians 5). Not all bad, but some that ignore God’s word, wisdom, and good leadership. So often, we are so quick to deny God, and seek to please the impulses of the flesh.  Thinking somehow, even momentarily, that that thing is better than God. Somehow thinking that we know better than God, thus setting ourselves up against him.

2. Their response: (3:7-8) nakedness, feeling/realizing they were exposed, shame, hide, not fulfilling what they were made for

 7  [z] Then the eyes of both were opened, [a] and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife [b] hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

1. Their EYES saw that something was terribly different.

2. Their MINDS knew that they were exposed (they were before but this was unknown to them)

3. Their EARS heard the convicting sound of the Lord walking toward them.

4. Their BODY responded by hiding through fig leaves and among the trees.

What was the response of shame? To hide. They covered themselves to try and mask the shame. Instead of doing what God had designed them to do (work the Garden) they were consumed with hiding.

A natural consequence of SIN is SHAME. People deal with shame, typically through hiding it. Do you do this too? Do you “mask” your shame?

1. Mask of self-image. Putting on public airs, or becoming image driven. (ie-Facebook, how you dress)

2. Mask of control. By controlling others. You can’t control your own sin, so you attempt to control the behavior and thoughts of others.

3. Mask of self-preservation/crisis control. Through extreme narcissism, you get so absorbed with your image, that it characterizes you.

4. Mask of blaming others or other things. Through justifying your behavior, saying that it isn’t really your fault (see Adam and Eve’s response)

5. Mask of self-defining. Through twisting what God says, thus attempting to minimize sin.

6. Mask of pity. Through self-lothing, hoping others will notice and have pity on you (ie narcissism).

7. Mask of domination. Through fault-finding, pointing out the sin in others so you don’t look as bad.

8. MOComparison. Through comparing yourself to someone other than God (ie “not as bad as Hitler”).

9. Mask of hiding. Through hiding in apathy. Giving up hope and choosing to live among trees.

3. God confronts them: (3:9-13)

9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, [c] because I was naked, and I hid myself.”

11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man said, [d] “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?”

The woman said, [e] “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”


God knew what they did, knew they were hiding. Man hid from God, God took initiative to already move toward restoration. God’s heart is holy, but he also loves his creation, particularly people.

A. Question: What was the man afraid of?

B. God calls out the specific sin. A note here-

                1) Shame without a reason, is not healthy shame.

                2) When the Spirit convicts you of sin, it is specific.

C. Notice the blame-shifting, instead of accepting responsibility for their actions! Adam even passive-aggressively blames God for this! Sin results in shame, which results in hiding. They have put on figs, bushes, and blame-shifting as a cover at this point. 

D. Sin brought immediate separation from God. Yet, God still goes to the sinners!

E. The man blamed God and the woman, the woman blamed the serpent, and the serpent threw up his temporary hands and didn’t have a leg to stand on!

4. The consequences: (3:14-19) Judgement of the Serpent, consequences for woman (pain in childbirth, friction in marriage), consequences for the man (frustrating work, physical death).

14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and [f] dust you shall eat

all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and [g] her offspring; [h] he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Observations: 1) You can see this enmity in Revelation 12, 2) you can see God’s plan of redemption already! The word “seed” is singular and is one of the great Messianic prophecies.3) according to the Moody Commentary, the serpent was the only created being who was JUDGED.

16 To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;

[i] in pain you shall bring forth children.

[j] Your desire shall be for your husband,

and he shall [k] rule over you.”

Observations: 1) increase pain in childbirth, 2) friction in marriage-first time the woman felt vexed by her husband. For the first time, he threw her under the bus, and became self-preserving at her expense.

Why did God do this? Why add pain?

17 And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree [l] of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’:

[m] cursed is the ground because of you; [n] in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;

18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; [o] for you are dust, and [p] to dust you shall return.”

Observations: 1) God judged the ground, resulting in frustration in work, 2) physical death-mortality.

Why frustrate labor? I can see physical death as necessary (see Moody Commentary), because we would be stuck in a fallen state, effected by the consequences of sin, and the judgment on creation. This would be terrible! In fact, death has become a blessing for the created.

5. God’s response: (3:20-24) Notice what God does and does NOT say. He doesn’t leave them in their shame and in the bushes. He clothes them and puts them back to work.

20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.

21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

22 Then the Lord God said, [q] “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand [r] and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden [s] to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the [t] cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

God did NOT shame them and leave them in shame. God dealt with their shame by:

1. God provided clothes for them-killing an animal.

2. God removed them from the garden, protected them from returning, and sent them to do what he and she was created to do.

3. Sending His son to remove their shame permanently, by taking it upon the cross.

What should our response to all this be?

1. All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).

2. We are all guilty (Isaiah 59:2, Rom. 3:9-10).

3. We continue to, with the same motives, chose things that God has said not to .

4. We all like sheep have gone astray, and go astray (Isaiah 53:6-7).

5. We all grieve God’s spirit, even as believers.

6. We all have the flesh, which desires things opposed to what the Spirit desires (Gal. 5, Rom. 7).

7. Paul mentions this struggle in Romans 7.

8. We will struggle with the impulses of the flesh, until our earthly tent is put away.

9. BUT our flesh has been crucified with Christ, to the cross (Galatians 2:20). Therefore, we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. So we put to death the deeds of the flesh. We MORTIFY (Romans 8:13, Col. 3:5). John Piper talks about “killing sin”(Romans 8).

10. But we don’t do this perfectly. Christ knows we will fail, and that is why he tells us that he is our sympathetic high priest (Heb. 2:18, 4:15-16).

11. Yet we strive to be conformed, because we love him, and with the spirit, our spirit craves holiness, and Christlikeness (Romans 12:1-2).

12. So what do we do when we sin and feel shame set on us? 1) let shame drive us to the cross, where we see our sin, placed on Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21, Isaiah 53), where we find our sympathetic high priest (Hebrews 2:18, 4:15-16), 2) Remember that this is not us but sin living in us, and that this struggle is both common and temporary-in fact, struggle is a sign of life (2 Cor. 5:17, Romans 8:1, Romans 7). 3) Confess (1 John 1) that we have sinned and remember that this is why Christ has died for us, 4) make necessary adjustments so you don’t do that again (repentance)(Matthew 5-7, especially 5:27-30. 1 John), 5) get up and get back to what God has called you to do (don’t allow Satan to keep you in the bushes of shame), 6) celebrate that there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!! (Romans 8:1) 7) help others come out of the bushes and into the light.

Satan’s focus is to steal, kill, and destroy. Too many men are pinned down by the bullets of shame. They are exactly where the enemy wants them. Hiding and ineffective. He has essentially taken them “out of the fight”. But this is not where God left Adam & Eve, and it is NOT where he wants us to stay. We have a job to do. We are to move beyond shame, and get in the game of building His kingdom & helping more and more people come to glorify HIM.

Practical application- this summer, Men’s Elective on how to move beyond shame. July (4 weeks) Monday nights (8-9pm @ Harvest). Let Pastor Jeff know if interested (765) 365-2328.

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