Unshackling the Chains of Shame

In March 2020, before the shutdowns, I taught in a Performing Arts Discipleship Training School at YWAM Tampa Bay. I was helping the students see how “false prophets” in their lives give them subtle false messaging about who God is or who they are in Christ. We worked to root out lies (self talk) like “I am not enough,” or “No one can ever know this about me.” It is so powerful to see people confess these kinds of lies in their lives and overcome the shame they carry because of them.

Adam and Eve

We talked about how interesting it is when Adam and Eve walked freely in Eden God described them as being “naked and unashamed.” They could have been described as naked and unafraid or naked and happy, but the word choice is “unashamed.” We learned how important it is to be vulnerable (naked) and unashamed – how shame is a terrible tool of our enemy to cause us to hide from the Truth and relationships. Whereas guilt/conviction move us toward God and others (to seek forgiveness), shame always drives us deeply into hiding.

Shame drives us into hiding

We even looked at the neuroscience of shame (thank you to Dr. Curt Thompson and my son, Tanner). As actors they all could easily demonstrate and understand how shame causes a person not to make eye contact and move away from others. As we were able to allow God to search our hearts and identify lies we carry, we also were able to, through healthy community, confess these lies to one another and begin a journey toward freedom and healthy relationship.

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