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Shame, Shame – He Took Double Shame

Shame and embarrassment are not the same.  I know because I did a little research. Shame does not necessarily involve public humiliation while embarrassment does. They differ in intensity.  I would say they differ in intensity because shame is a deep, inward feeling that we hold inside of us — no one knows of the disgrace and condemnation we feel in that isolation.  Some might say embarrassment is more intense because it is visible to everyone.

Justin Holcomb quotes Tangney and Dearing as saying, “Shamed people feel exposed. Although shame doesn’t necessarily involve an actual observing audience that is present to witness one’s shortcomings, there is often the imagery of how one’s destructive self would appear to others.”

I found that I am completely familiar with the feeling of shame but not the intellectual meaning of shame.  I carried shame for years, and sometimes I still do.  We carry the shame of what we have done.  We carry the shame of what has been done to us. We even carry the shame of what we’ve thought about doing.

Something else I found:  shame is associated with the words disgrace and condemnation.  Well, that just makes sense to me.  One, because Christ does something beautiful with shame.  He turns disgrace to grace. Then, he turns condemnation to There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).

So, “As for me, where could I carry my shame?” or “Where can I get rid of my disgrace?” as Tamar asks in 2 Samuel 13:13.

It’s been carried, and it’s been disposed of — at the cross.  We don’t have to carry our shame.  Our hope is in Christ and His accomplishment on the cross on our behalf  “and hope does not put us to shame” (Romans 5:5).

Holcomb says, “The good news of the gospel is that Jesus endured the cross, disregarding the shame.  The good news is that Jesus disregarded the shame of dying by crucifixion, and in doing so also took our shame upon himself.  Jesus willingly suffered the most shameful death and this exposed the extremity of sin’s shameful consequences and the despicable character of our humanly devised shame.  He ‘despis[ed] the shame.’  We can say that Jesus both shared our shame and bore our shame so that we can have freedom from its dread and power.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Good words, and much needed topic. In my teaching (more than 25 years), the topic of shame has been part of that. Why? Because we often talk about the cross dealing with sin, but seldom tie that to the cross also taking care of guilt and shame. Thus, someone can admit to being free of sin, but still be burdened by guilt and shame. This goes all the way back to Genesis 2:25, which Satan destroyed through his temptation.

    I like to talk about the four relationships that were broken in the fall, and restored in Christ: 1) God-human, 2) human within (conscience), 3) human-human, and 4) human-creation. If we limited Christ’s work to 1 and 3, we miss all that Christ has done.

    …from one who has struggled with shame for more decades than he wants to admit.


    September 30, 2011
    • Thanks, Rich. I appreciate you adding to this. Such a good word.

      September 30, 2011
  2. grace #

    Thank you so much for sharing this message today.
    I have always been bothered by the fact that those who need grace as much as I do, are so quick to bring past forgiven sins back to light. It is like Christ is saying to us. “I KNOW ABOUT THAT, I HAVE ALREADY FORGIVEN GER ON THE CROSS” and people keep bringing it up. Thanks for the reminder that there is NO CONDEMNATION once issues have been taken to the LORD! What a blessed assurance. I am blessed by your words today! I had to go back and read it all out loud! 🙂 Blessings to you!

    October 3, 2011
    • It has been forgiven, and there is no condemnation for those who are “in Him.” And, you’re right, “blessed assurance” sums it up. I’m glad this post spoke to you, Grace. Thanks for commenting.

      October 4, 2011
    • I like God’s amnesia: [LORD declares:] ““for I will cforgive their iniquity, and their dsin I will remember no more.”

      May we be as good at amnesia as God is in regard to our sin.

      Here is a post earlier this year that addresses that.

      October 4, 2011

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