Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Shame = “A negative emotion that combines feelings of dishonour, unworthiness and embarrassment.”

I have been thinking about this word a lot recently I have a few shame issues that I am trying to work through.

When we were young we didn’t have a lot of money, which really wasn’t a problem because as a child material things don’t really matter. Because we didn’t have a lot of money we weren’t able to keep up with all the fashions and buy loads of new clothes. This meant at school that other kids would laugh at you from time to time, not a big problem because you could just beat them up. But it left me with a thing about clothes, I am not the most fashionable bloke in the world but do like nice clothes and worry about how I look a lot, I transmit this to my children and am always paranoid that we all look okay.

I had one or two issues about eating a friend of mine was very noisy eater and I used to get embarrassed for him, now I am a nightmare to eat with, I have also transmitted this to my children, I hate sloppy eating, obsessively, I have changed train carriages because someone is crunching sweets to loudly.

I also live with little things, like on my wedding day I got my hair all wrong and I look at the photos and feel embarrassed, then we lost the list of people who gave us wedding presents and we didn’t send them all thank yous it still makes me cringe thinking about it. After years loads of embarrassing incidents still knock around in my head.

I overly worry about people I know, embarrassing themselves, I am very conscious of not saying the wrong thing, this sometimes leads me to be quiet, or to over analyze what I have said. So preaching is a nightmare! I am relaxed beforehand but go through mental torment afterwards.

If I have to confront someone I go through it time and time again in my head to the point of procrastination, then it can just come out in anger and I feel shame for being angry.

I could list more stuff.......

Basically I over worry about what people think and the times when I have let them down, I feel shame.

I understand that we are no longer under any condemnation and I know it’s all in my head, it’s just surfacing more and more of late, so I am trying to get it sorted.


Sheena said...

As I was reading this I felt I should put up a few scriptures about shame, so I pulled up and started looking. (Please forgive me if this gets long, but I think it's important) I came across Isaiah 54, and as I started reading I really felt like it was a passage from which God wants to give you something.

I too had a childhood filled with shame. My mother is schizophrenic, my father was not a nice man, I was raised by him and my stepmom, and I endured some pretty bad things at the hands of people that should’ve been safe. And beyond that I still at 32 live with the shame of being overweight, something that's been part of my life since childhood and I haven't been able to gain mastery of. I’m not a freak, but I’m certainly not thin, and I've been at wrong the end of many cruel words for it over the years.

The woman in Isaiah 54 is someone to whom I can relate because she has every reason to continue to live in the shadow of her shame. By the standards of her culture she is lacking and wanting. But the cry of the words of this passage is for that one, who by all means should have no reason to hold up her head, to begin to behave in a way that is as if she has never had reason to feel shame. It's a call of faith, to respond to the One who, as Heb 12:2 says "...for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

If this is the value He placed on us what place is there for shame? We no longer have the right to find the strange and familiar comfort shame brings. Jesus bore our griefs, shames and sorrows. The price of our peace was taken out on Him. He was so fiercely in love with us that He scorned the shame of the cross. He scorned it. He got in its face and said, "bring it on" because it was nothing compared to the prize, the joy set before Him. And do you know what that prize was? It was you. You were the joy set before Him. YOU were the joy set before Him.

So all that to say, will you read Is 54 with that in mind? I think there's something in there for you regarding this whole shame thing.

Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. -Isaiah 50:7

Anonymous said...

hi love your blog read it every day, pray for you often.
i used to sound a lot like you i had some ministry from a
i think a lot of this comes from the enemy tormenting us especially you who is in his face threatening his territory.i started to pray about it and tried to take my thoughts captive renewing my mind when negative things and insecurities would start to rule my thought patterns. i didnt realise until i read this that it hasnt been the same problem for quite a while.hope it helps keep up good work .

paul heasley said...

having been poor is no shame,but being ashamed of it,is

benjamin franklin

Brian said...

thanks Paul, I love that quote, being poor didn't bother me it was more the people who took the pee...., you other guys the bible verses are helpful, but I know them......It's not about a poor understanding of who I am in Christ, it's just a freaky accumulation of situations that made me have issues, hope you know what I mean

Mark Robins said...

Hey Brian,
I know what you mean - I feel shame about being a bit fat and not being, seemingly, able to control my eating sufficiently. I know the truth as well, but, I still feel it.

Eric St.Clair said...

In my life I have found that there is a self destructive spirit that comes against me and whispers in my ear destructive things, that are opposed to Christ. It's goal everyday is to destroy me. 2 Corinthians 10:5
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. There are no free thoughts that come into your brain. Every single thought must be weighed as either from Christ or from the enemy. The worst thing we can do is to attach emotions to thoughts that the enemy has whispered to us. Once we attach emotions we are royally screwed. Then we believe these lies are our very own thoughts. I am learning that there is no free thoughts. Everything that comes in must be sorted to the proper place. That is my thoughts on what I have gone through.

Caroline said...

Hi Brian,

I love the picture - that's you all over! Funny how you chose a picture of the lion with his eyes covered. We all know the feeling inside. And we all want to cover our eyes because shame is an experience of the eyes. It only happens when people are, or we think they are, looking at us. Just one look is enough.

Shame says you are bad, flawed, weak, a failure, no good, worthless. The weird thing is, we go on treating ourselves the way those others did. You're still beating yourself up in the way those kids at school did! Time to love that part of yourself - that kid you were. Do a timeline, go back to that kid and show your love to him. He was OK. X

Brian Francis Hume said...


Thanks for bearing your heart. Unfortunately shame is an issue that I am well acquainted with. For many years it was a constant companion, reminding me of my every shortcomings and failures. Literally it drove me to the edge. Interestingly when sharing with a prophetic gentleman concerning the suicides of my biological father shortly after my birth and the suicide of his father several years previous—this man-of-God said, “It was shame the drove him to end his life.” Although one could argue that we don’t know with absolute certainty, I certainly couldn’t refute this statement and it did bear witness with my spirit. I believe the Lord desired to uncover a generational curse that has sought to “steal, kill, and destroy” the fullness of God’s calling upon my life. Shame has plague me for most of my life and even during my Christian walk.

I don’t have any easy answers. Yet, I press on towards Christ so that I may walk more fully in the reality of who I am in Christ. Two steps forward…one step back, etc.

You are a treasure.

Your friend,

Brian Francis Hume

mimosa lankinen said...

It's good that Jesus helps us with all this stuff!

Jen said...

Hey Brian I feel ashamed I have not been reading your blog as often as I should have! I wanna thank you so much for bearing your heart on here. I studied a whole module in my Eng Lit course called Shame. We (to be fair)were applying it to Shakespeare, but i reckon it really taught me about the concept of shame. Shame is definitely something that relies on our perceptions and how we think others interpret us. I reckon that it's something therefore that has been very much created by sin originating with an awareness of nakedness in the garden of eden. All that said then is there a way to avoid it or do we struggle against it? I reckon we struggle against it. The devil wants to steal our joy and as Sheena was saying that is what God sought to restore by sending Jesus. But shame is built into our makeup, our very emotions and beings. I feel shame being me around people I fancy. I know there is self esteem issue there about my weight and looks etc. But it makes me think that God does not want us to live under shame. Yes he loves the humble-but humble people seek to glorify Him. Maybe when those thoughts recur, you should heed this saying: when the devil reminds you of your past, remind him of his future. We already have victory over shame so let's declare it to ourselves and battle it when it daily occurs.

Anonymous said...

Shame is the most destructive thing within us, the destruction it creates can affect us on so many level in our daily life. Shame can make us feel unworthy to the point we withdraw from Christ feeling unworthy and insignificant even though we comprehend subconciously that Christ is the only one who can truely separate us from the shame we endure, hence by allowing ourselves to become slaves to the shame we are allowing the Devil to get a foothold and leads to furthur destruction. Despite being youthful in years I know what shame is and being ashamed of my self-harm past sometimes prevented me from getting as close to God as I want to and sometimes when the Devil uses my past to destroy me I weakly yield and self harm. The shame often led to bigger things taking me further away from Christ. However I know God has a far better plan for me, he can take the shame from your past and create a glorified future, he takes away the shame and enables us to freedom. Come to God and celebrate our freedom from shame achieved through Christ and His love for us. Even as I write this I have a large lump in my throat because I realise how much Christ has done inorder to realise me from shame.

Brian Francis Hume said...

Hey, I hope all is well with you. I just reread this blog post. Thanks again for your vulnerability in this topic. Blessings!