The Power of Shame

THE POWER OF SHAME - A brief Bible Study by Mike Winch

You may think that this is a peculiar title for a Bible Study! Who wants to know about the power of shame? Shame is something that we don't readily admit to. It has a powerful hold over people!


Job was a man who was blameless and upright before God. No man went through greater affliction and testing than Job. Look at his response to his accusers; "If I am guilty - woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction." (Job 10:15). Whether we have done wrong things we are ashamed of, or whether it is shameful things done to us - shame is an acid that strips us of our dignity and dissolves hope! It robs us of intimacy, wonder and joy. Shame is so painful that we react against it! Children who have been abused often say nothing about it for years. The woman who has been raped finds it the most painful thing to relive in court. The corrosive power of shame is that it leaves us feeling rejected, dirty and despised.


The Bible says that Jesus "... made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:7-8), The perfect and sinless Son of God freely emptied Himself of glory and took upon Himself the limitations of humanity - but without sin. He did not cease to be God, but humbled Himself in becoming like us and bearing physical hunger, exhaustion, temptation, ridicule, rejection and shame! God declared that the penalty of sin is death. Jesus paid this in full on the Cross - so that we might go free! He dealt with the consequences of sin, including shame, that we might find healing. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:2). In Jesus there is healing from your corrosive shame through His redemptive shame for you!