Defeating the Giant of Shame

August 8, 2021   /   Dr. Skip Pilgrim   /   First Red Oak

Shame v Guilt

I believe that there is a profound difference between shame and guilt.

Guilt is adaptive and can be  helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort.


I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection with God or others.

Things to remember about shame

Shame is not helpful or productive

Shame is more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure.

Shame is a powerful emotion that can cause people to feel defective, unacceptable, even damaged beyond repair.

All decisions have consequences

Belief   –   Decisions   –   Outcome

To Break Free From Shame:

1.We must discover the cause of our shame.

What decision(s) have we made that has caused us to become ashamed?

The younger son in our story had a belief system change.  (Luke 15:11-12)

He believed wrong was right.

What we believe affects all our decisions

The younger son believed that an ungodly life-style would bring him happiness. (Luke 15:13)

(Moses) “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;” (Hebrews 11:25)

In this case a false belief would be that sinful living only brings pleasure into our life and not shame.

The younger son got what he wanted

Money, freedom from rules, friends, and the party life.

He also got what he did not want: consequences.

We reap what we sow!

False Belief   –   Bad Decision   –   Outcome Guilt and Shame

To Break Free From Shame:

1.Understand what causes shame.

2.Apply the cure for shame.  (Luke 15:14-19)

“When the pain becomes greater than the need to change, we change.”  D. Mullinax

The Cure for Shame

Belief – Do the right thing   –   Decision Repent

Step#1 Repent – Agree with God             Luke 15:18-19

I have wronged my father

I have sinned against God

I am no more worthy (The pain of shame)

The Cure for Shame

Belief – Do the right thing   –   Decision – Repent   –   Outcome – Restoration

Step#2  Restoration

God want to do a fixer up job on your life.                (Luke 15:20-24)

Repair our brokenness

Remove our shame and guilt

Restore our purpose

To Break Free form Shame:

1.Understand the cause of shame

2.Apply the cure for shame

3.Pray for those who continue to shame you (Luke 15:24-28)

Some are unwilling to let you recover from your mistakes.  

Reputation –  What others know and say about us

Character –  Who we are which is defined by our words, decisions and actions.

Good Reputation

Belief – Follow Jesus   –   Decision – Keep living for Christ   –   Outcome – Good Reputation

Save PDF Locally

Click to save a copy of the filled-in notes to a PDF file on your device

Save PDF to Google Drive

Click to save a copy of the filled-in notes to a PDF file on your Google Drive account

(For Apple devices, use Chrome browser or go to SETTINGS>SAFARI and uncheck BLOCK POPUPS.)