Here are some common definitions of shame:
1. The painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, or ridiculous. done by oneself or another.
2. A disgrace; ignominy.
3. A fact or circumstance bringing disgrace or regret.
We have all experienced shame on some level. Perhaps as lightly as regret, or more strongly as worthless. The source is the same. Shame is a specific strategy of the enemy. Shame is employed to destroy or distort personal identity. Shame’s victim has difficulty learning who they were created to be and what they were created for (purpose.)
When an individual is victimized as a child or adolescent the enemy always tries to plant the thought that, “This is my fault.” This is particularly true if the abuser is a parent. Guilt and the resulting shame then become bonded twins. If the victim buys the lie that it was their fault, shame and guilt become a permanent part of their identity.
This is why shame and guilt are so difficult to dislodge. Shame quickly reshapes your concept of yourself and reframes your world view. That’s why you cannot simply renounce it and be free of it. This is part of the “Working out of salvation,”that is talked about in Philippians 2:12.
Obviously, we should “know better” than to believe shame, but the enemy never attacks us when we have a ready defense. He always comes at us when we are weak and vulnerable. This is particularly true when we are children and susceptible to believing lies.
In chapter 53, Isaiah declares that the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ dealt with all the stuff that makes life difficult. He specifically mentions: Grief and sorrow (v.4), transgressions and iniquities (v.5), oppression, affliction and judgment (v. 7&8), guilt (v.10) and anguish of soul (v.11). Our shame has been paid for on the cross, we are simply living in the here and not yet. Again, it is the walking it out. Meanwhile, we can stand rooted in our identity as son’s and daughter’s, knowing that Jesus has taken care of the legal business.