What a Shame!

(This blog was originally posted by Jean-Marie Jobs on July 14, 2014.)

When you looks of the definition of shame, you might see this “shame is, variously, an affect, emotion, cognition, state, or condition. The roots of the word shame are thought to derive from an older word meaning “to cover”; as such, covering oneself, literally or figuratively, is a natural expression of shame”. Shame is a cover up – it always has an object.

Shame is often regarded as the result of a wrong done to us or a wrong we’ve done. Dan Allender, a Christian writer, posits “shame exposes what we worship.” Hmmm… that’s an interesting thought. Consider in the Scripture, shame is frequently connected to idolatry. Here are just a few of the places:

Isaiah 44:9-11

All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless.  Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame. 10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing?   11 He and his kind will be put to shame; craftsmen are nothing but men.  Let them all come together and take their stand; they will be brought down to terror and infamy. NIV

 Isaiah 45:15-16

5 Truly, O God of Israel, Savior, you work in strange, mysterious ways. 16 All who worship idols shall be disappointed and ashamed. TLB

Dan Allender then asks the bold question: Is it possible that all our shame is due to idolatry? In our culture we tend to worship strength, independence and we judge weakness and need. I wonder how much of our shame is connected to being embarrassed that we need others, we need help, we’re not perfect, we can’t make it on our own. We’ve been hurt, abused, betrayed – why be ashamed instead of sorrowful?

Consider the times you feel shame and ask yourself, who or what are you worshipping?