Shame Off You!

Sharon JaynesLiving Free, Living Fully, Trusting God, When You Don't Like Your Story 38 Comments

Has anyone ever scolded you with the words, “Shame on you”? If they have…don’t receive it.  I’m here to today to tell you words God wants you to hear: “Shame off you!” 

I remember as a little girl, hiding under the covers of my bed, trying to shut out my parents’ yelling and screaming in the next room. I heard bad words. I didn’t know what some of them meant, but I did know how they made me feel. Dirty. The next morning, I awoke to the aftermath of the night’s tirade—Mom’s black eye, Dad’s crying remorse, furniture tossed and broken—and those bad words bouncing around my little-girl head.

Nevertheless, I was expected to put on my school clothes, brush my hair, eat my cereal, brush my teeth, and sit in class with my little friends as if nothing had happened the night before. The shame of what I’d seen and heard clung to me like the stink of a Friday night fish fry. Maybe no one else could smell it, but I sure did.

Never once did I wonder what went on in anyone else’s home. I was sure it couldn’t be as bad as mine. Shame wrapped its talons around my neck and squeezed. I hadn’t done anything wrong, but I felt I was wrong.

My family was all wrong. And I suffered in silence.

Whether it attacks a curly-headed first-grader sitting at her desk, or an eighty-year-old woman sitting in a church pew with her friends, shame is a universal destroyer of destinies, dignity, and callings.

It whispers, You’re the only one. No one is as bad as you. If they only knew. Shame keeps its victims silent.

Where did shame come from? It came from the Garden in Genesis 3.

The writer of Genesis wrote about Adam and Eve on the dawn of their creation, “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25). The biblical writer could have used a variety of words to describe what Adam and Eve did not feel. They felt no fear, no hunger, no anxiety, no thirst, no loneliness, no lack. But the writer chose the word shame. It’s a significant choice as it foreshadows what happened next.

After they disobeyed God in Genesis 3, they felt shame for the first time. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (3:6–7).

The Hebrew word for shame is bosh, which means to be “utterly dejected and to be ashamed in front of one another.” That’s what they felt. Maybe you’ve felt it, too.

But the Bible tells us that because of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, and our decision to follow Him, we never need to live under the shadow of shame again. His blood is the cure for the infection of Eden.

The Bible gives us this promise: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Guess what “all” means in that verse? All means all and that’s all all means.

When we confess our sin, the next step is to believe God tells the truth about removing the reason for the shame. God says, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgression, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more” (Isaiah 43:25).

Do you believe God tells the truth—that you are completely forgiven and free of accusation? That’s the question, isn’t it?

Here’s another question: Can we be saved from sin but still enslaved to shame? Absolutely. Jesus removes the reason for shame; it’s up to us to walk away from the season of shame.

Salvation does not instantly inoculate anyone from feelings of shame, whether it is from something done to you or something you’ve done. But feelings don’t always line up with facts. We must decide to walk away from that shame place, regardless of what our feelings are telling us at the time.

Today’s Truth says, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (Psalm 34:5 NIV). That word “radiant” in the original text means “radiant with joy, to sparkle, to be cheerful.”

I want to be sparkly, don’t you! I am so glad that Jesus endured the shame so that we don’t have to live under its cloud any longer.

Shame off me! Shame off you! Amen!

Dear Lord, thank You for enduring the shame to remove mine. Thank You that I never have to be ashamed of my past hurts or habits because You have forgiven me and washed away my sin. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Why do you think so many women struggle with shame?

What do you need to say to your shame today? Leave a comment and let’s share.

Learning to live free of shame is one of the ways that you can change the ending to your story. Learn how to get unstuck from condemning thoughts and become the radiant woman you were meant to be. Check out my latest book, When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories? I know that they can.

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Comments 38

  1. Thank you for your encouraging word this morning, I’m learning how to live a Victorious life in and through Jesus!!! 💗

  2. I just wanted to thank you for your message today. I have been praying every day and finding pennies. Is that an affirmation that my prayers are being answered?

    1. Elizabeth, they say that pennies found are gifts from angels in heaven. They let us know that we are heard and that they are always walking with us. So when you find one, say thank you. They are saying to you that you are loved and you are worthy of that love. You are His daughter and He loves you just the way you are.

  3. I need to say to my shame that I see you. I recognize you. I know this place that I’ve come to, once again. It’s a dark hole that I’ve been in before, and through God’s grace and love climbed out of before. I do not appreciate you putting yourself on my path, once again. Or disguising yourself so that I didn’t even realize I was on the same street that I’ve been on countless times before. I recognize that you, too, can serve purpose for God’s will and while you sit here with me again, I will be speaking to God out loud. Asking for Christ’s forgiveness for falling in again, asking for His favor to help me out, and praying for confident assuredness all the while. You will not last.

  4. This message is amazing and I came to me the at the right time. I have lived in shame for too long! Listening to the lies of the evil one! Please pray with me to stand strong in Jesus Name.

  5. Love that! “Jesus removes the reason for shame; it’s up to us to walk away from the season of shame.”

    Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need..

  6. What a wonderful message this morning!
    I have released my shame to the Lord. I know that I am a daughter of the king and worthy of his love. Please pray for my father who is in his last days with his Alzheimer’s journey. Family have come to visit and say their last goodbyes. It is all in God’s timing.

    1. Hi Carlynn, lifting you & your family up in Prayers. Praying for peace over your father, & that when the time comes, The Lord will gently wrap HIS Arms around your father, & take him to Heaven. I’m also praying that you & all those who your father is near & dear to, will be at peace.. The Holy Spirit will assure you all that your father is going to a place where there is no confusion, nor sadness, only the upmost JOY, because your father will be with his Heavenly Father🙏🙌

      A fellow sister in Christ

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  7. This was an amazing article. It gets you to think about how words can cause strongholds and break one’s spirit. A church woman once said “shame on you” over my daughter for biting her son. They weren’t even one year old yet. When she said it my girl looked up at her and burst into tears. Even at that tender age, she had felt the power of the curse of shame. As her mother, I jumped in and stopped the mother from speaking, and picked my daughter up. I apologized for the bite but said she was far too harsh because her son had been ripping toys out of my daughter’s hands the whole hour and every time she was in the church nursery. Since she couldn’t say stop at that age, her only way to stop him was to bite him. She didn’t do it unless frustrated. Believe it or not, those words of “shame on you” hung on my girl even to this day until I told her to rebuke it and refuse to wear the mantle of shame. She is 28 years old. I always reconsider saying these words, even if they are warranted because I have seen the power they hold. It is a curse. As believers, we should not speak curses upon others, especially when it shame – one of the first reactions to sin.

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  8. I think this is a message for every woman alive!! Thank you so much for your ministry! You’ve not only blessed my life, but I’ve shared your devotions with my loved ones and friends many times over!

  9. Your messages always come at just the right time. Thank you for allowing God to use you, to minister to me. For such a time as this God has called you out, to remind us all, that we are not in these battles alone.

  10. Thank you for your transparency. Bless you for ministering to women and helping them grow stronger in God. I am happy to share your teachings.

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  11. My childhood was like yours Sharon but it wasn’t alcohol it was infidelity & my dad refused to change. The arguments, mother threatening to leave or confront my dad’s women! Every night, fights & screaming! I was scared & thought I would be alone. I knew they loved me but not enough to stop. They wanted to hurt one another & had no idea how it hurt me.
    At age 7 I gave my heart to a real father! Embarrassment & shame were now covered by the presence of a kind & loving Father. That is how I was able to live a life without fear or shame.

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  12. If God says that He blotted out my sin for His sake and remembers them no more, then why would I let myself be continually condemned by my own thoughts and not believe that what He says stands for all time, because there is none higher than Him.

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  13. Such a timely message! I’ve been carrying the soul wound of shame with me for over 60 years. Shame, you no longer have a place in my life–be gone!!! Lord, heal all that’s broken in me so that I can walk free from all that has kept me in chains!! Amen!

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      1. Thanks!!! I just want to tell you what an inspiration you’ve been to me through the years with the GiG devotions and the studies I’ve done with you using the books you’ve written–they’ve been just what I needed at just the right time. God bless you, dear sister!! ❤

  14. I am still healing from the shame and the effects of childhood sexual abuse. My husband recently confessed to me about using porn since he was a teen. He says he has been so ashamed and is disgusted with himself and says he wants the monkey off his back…. This betrayal is causing me to walk ever closer to Jesus and we have our church to lean on (really great healing ministries just for this issue that we are participating in – praise God). Still 40 years of marriage seems so shallow. I appreciate the comments that salvation does not instantly remove shame. I know that with God NOTHING is impossible. I know stories of other couples who have walked into the light and God is using them to help others heal. My prayer is that my husband D will return (or turn for the first time?) to the Father for mercy and grace and forgiveness and healing. And that I will stay out of His way (tame my tongue and stop trying to control the process). I put on the armor of God daily and try to remember many men who turn to porn have also been abused sexually.
    Even though this is anonymous, just getting it out helps. Thank you Sharon for offering such real, raw examples of Gods goodness. We both also had alcoholic parents. What the enemy intended for evil I pray God will turn for good. Anyone else going through this…? Appreciate prayers. Thanks. T

  15. I carried the shame of having my son out of wedlock for years. I wish I had your encouragement then. My son is 31 now and he is a gift from God. God spoke his name to me before I knew it was a boy. It was to remind me how I was forgiven and my son is still a gift despite my actions. Jonathan Isaiah and he is still proving it to this day. God is gracious and faithful. I am so thankful to God!

  16. Sharon, thank you for sharing your background so honestly! I had a childhood of shame, also. Even though I have been a Christian for most of my life, I have a hard time getting past all the emotions of my childhood. I have been to Christian therapy twice. It helps, but I need to spend some more honest time with my Jesus. I have difficulty really accepting that He loves me unconditionally. Please pray that I would be free from feeling like I’m “not enough” once and for all!

  17. We can give shame too much power over us if we allow it. Shame can try to make us forget that Jesus took our shame upon himself. I stop any thoughts of shame over past sin in its tracks by saying, “I trust you Jesus”. Doing this gives power back to the One who has the power to remove our sin and shame. There is power in the name of Jesus! 💕

  18. Thank you Sharon for your encouragement, I really appreciate it. I needed this today. I had many instances with my parents before their divorce & I felt like the only one as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Hugs & Prayers,

  19. I thank each one of you who responded…I am encouraged to hear what you find in Jesus. Truth heals and I am encouraged at His Feet to claim this freedom to walk in His Law of Love…the foundation of all, in all and covers all, a multitude of sin. Jesus tells us to leave behind all that weighs us down….”Come unto me”….simple words that He already knows is the answer we seek but stumble over as we allow or create barriers to be there. So, I come….today and each day of my life and I join w all of you in knowing His Love for each of us….He will never leave nor forsake us….true life for His….He gave His for us. So grateful for every breathe in Him.

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