RANDOM THOUGHTS Part #2a Toxic Shame

Posted: July 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


Toxic SHAME believes I am a mistake.                                                                                                                                                                                Experiencing Truth breaks the power of shame…

Shame (Toxic Shame) When you feel you are a mistake.

Have you ever felt that you were a mistake? I have… at least in the past.

I came to Jesus Christ at the age twenty-five.  My life was changed from that very day.  I Knew who I was, why I was here…purpose & meaning. I was excited about learning the truth and now having a personal relationship with God.  A journey began that day….. God had taken me by the hand and began to lead me into a new adventure… a new life.  His word began to blossom and grow inside me.  He led me away from a career in the military to graduate school …seminary to study the word of God, theology, biblical languages and gain the tools I would need for a life time of study and ministry.  He walked with me as I grew and learned and raised a family.   He walked with me and carried me as I made mistakes at home and in ministry.  God was obviously in my life and doing great things.           

Yet all through this time and before I felt there was something wrong with me.  I was different.  A painful belief that their was a part of me that was defective…would never measure up.  As a boy when grandparents might compliment me as grandparents do on my appearance I would feel that it wasn’t true.  Part of me believed there was a cruelty involved in these compliments.  Anyone could see that I was an ugly person.   When I excelled in athletics I enjoyed the applause, but when I was injured and forever sidelined it was as if I knew it had to happen that way … I could never succeed in that.. WHY? SHAME:  a painful belief that something or some part of me was defective…. relatively good home, good parents, hard working father, accepting mother…yet shame through certain demeaning or demanding behaviors primarily in my father imprinted things in my heart…

The bible has the answers to freedom from shame… Jesus said…(YOu shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free…John 8:31,32)… one man helped me understand how to apply that to my heart and life and find freedom from shame…

“Experiencing Truth Breaks The Power Of Shame.” 

How do we get there from here?

STEP  #1:  RECOGNIZE The Presence of Toxic Shame.

1.      Healthy Shame:  a painful emotion caused by a sense of guilt, but whose intent is to lead us to repentance and back to the grace of God. Healthy shame is the sickening feeling or embarrassment at having done something wrong or at the exposure of that wrongdoing.

2.      Guilt:  the awareness and uncomfortable feeling that you have done something wrong…..Guilt says “I know I have done something wrong…”

3.  What about Toxic Shame…? Toxic Shame is the painful emotional belief, not that you simply did something wrong, but  the emotional belief that you are something wrong…shame that enslaves us and colors the world before us…

-Guilt: “I have done something wrong

Toxic Shame: “I am something wrong…defective as a person, even a mistake…”

-Guilt:  I am guilty of a misdeed.

-Healthy shame:  I feel bad about the misdeed.

Toxic Shame:  I am the misdeed. I am bad. It is not what I did that is wrong, but who I am that is wrong–

Shame can become a sickness of the soul. People get trapped in emotional disappointment with themselves as a person….and live far below what God intends…Feel / believe he or she is defective…..

What would I have to believe about myself in order to act or feel the way I do?

Self-Check….How many of these apply? (self-awareness)

  • Do you frequently tend to think negative thoughts about yourself?
  • Do you often withdraw and isolate from people?
  • Do you allow yourself to be put down or mistreated or taken advantage of by others?
  • Do you undermine yourself by not attempting to do things you might be able to do, because you are afraid of failing or making mistakes?
  • Do you often find yourself finding fault with others and criticize them if only in your mind?
  • Do you repeatedly engage in behaviors you tend to feel ashamed of, or have little control over (eating, drinking, more than you should, sexual activities contrary to healthy values, compulsive shopping or cleaning?)
  • Do you tend to think of yourself as superior or better than other people in certain ways?
  • Do you experience painful episodes of guilt or shame in which you feel very badly about yourself or rehash painful mistakes or incidents from your past?
  • Do you tend to feel shy, or embarrassed, or inferior around other people?
  • Do you have trouble believing that people sincerely care about you, or that God loves you?
  • Do you experience attacks of rage, in which you get extremely angry for a period of time?
  • Do you beat yourself up when you make a mistake?
  • Do you feel guilty in relations to other people, apologizing a lot or taking responsibility for the feelings of others?
  • Do you struggle with perfectionism in that it gets in the way and less than perfect feels painful?
  • Do you tend to neglect taking care of yourself in various ways, such as overextended physically or emotionally, or not allowing for enough rest or not caring for your personal needs?
  • Do you worry what other people think of you or your behavior?
  • Do you assume other people think negatively about you?
  • Do you tend to be a people pleaser?
  • Do you feel your worth is based on your performance?
  • Do you feel you are stupid, defective or a mistake?

How many apply to you?  Samples of symptoms of toxic shame.

QUESTION: What would I have to believe about myself in order to act or feel the way I do?


ANSWER: By Being Shamed… either as a child or even later in life (marriage/unhealthy relationships)

 1)      Shaming messages: Little Susie & mud….. “You should be ashamed”/ grades/ bad girl or boy/You should know better; you’re ugly…stupid…don’t belong here… you’re a mistake… B’s are good but you can do better… (Yelling & demeaning comments— kid? Relationship? Marriage?)

2)      Shame-based family rules:

§  -Control. Be in control of all interactions. Control is the major defense strategy for shame.

§  -Perfectionism. Always be right. No one ever measures up.

§  -Blame –when things go wrong blame others or yourself.

§  -Don’t talk — Don’t disagree,, etc.

§   Don’t Trust —Don’t trust anyone and you will never be disappointed

§   Don’t Feel (Only certain feelings ok),

§  Don’t Make Mistakes (reveals flawed self)

3)      Family Secrets: alcoholic / mental illness…. “Don’t tell anyone…” “Our little secret”

4)      Rage…makes the recipients feel small…shamed… (or witnessing it)

5)      Abandonment …divorce/work/disease/spiritually absent/drunk, drugs,

6)      Overt Sexual abuse…  Overt =, inappropriate; leering; touching ; fondling; the obvious ways of sexual encounters…, penetrations, intercourse and other. A parent or older sibling parading around naked or nearly so…

7)      Covert Sexual Abuse—…inappropriate sex talk; teasing about body parts; not teaching needed sexual information; no privacy in bathrooms or bedrooms…

8)      Religious shaming….. (Judgmentalism, perfectionism, externals—rules, punitive God)

9)      Shaming relationships (shamer acts superior) Ultra authoritarian parenting.

10)  Neglect and rejection— primary caregivers did not meet your needs

11)  Violence— or witnessing it (spanking ¹ hitting or slapping in the face, etc.)

12)  Self-shame— self-critical thoughts like beating yourself up for making mistakes or losing.   (…permanently flawed, different, worthless, unworthy, loser, dirty, don’t count, burden to others, not worth loving…God could not love you, stupid, inferior, bad…) Feelings of shame create painful ideas and attitudes about ourselves THAT ARE NOT TRUE…

 STEP #2:  REALIZE The Adverse Effects Of Toxic Shame.

Genesis 3:7-12   “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

8They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”

TRANS:  10 COMMON ADVERSE EFFECTS From The Passage And The Word (S) For Shame…

1.  HIDING or COVER-UP (3:7)A cover-up/ self protective behavior with God and other people…

            Note:  no one around but the animals —Adam & Eve are married. Symbolic of a deeper    problem:  loss of intimacy

2.  FEAR (3:10)Fear of exposure: “I was afraid because I was naked (exposed, innermost being, thoughts &             feelings) so I hid.  God couldn’t love or accept me in this condition…

3.  DENIAL  (3:12)    blame shifting …. critical spirit

4.  ALONENESS — loss of intimacy

5.  PARALYSIS —-Bosh = cause us to freeze up/ unable to act or respond

            ie.  Moses was ashamed to come down…

6.  BROKENNESS —Bosh = so humiliated or misused or violated that a part of you feels broken …

7.      RAGE  — Bosh = a humiliated person/shamed person may convert shame to rage or anger…

8.  PERFECTIONISM dreads making mistakes because he believes it proves he is defective.  Strives to be  perfect to prove or fight the feeling. (never measure up)…must be in control…


10. TRANSMISSION:  Shamed people shame people.

 What can break the power of shame in your life and in my own life?

“Experiencing Truth Breaks The Power Of Shame.” 

STEP  #3:  REPLACE Your Toxic Shame With The Experience of Truth.

 John 8:31-32     “So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; [32] and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Continue in My Word = meno (abide) = an interactive and experiential relationship — a heart knowledge not just a head knowledge…

know the truth = know (two words for ‘know’ (1) head knowledge [oida] (2) heart knowledge (felt) (ginosko)  Example:   John 17:3 “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

1STASK God To Search Your Heart .Psalm 139: 23,24

 2ND: BELIEVE That You Have A Need For Healing Or Change……James 1:22-26 (MsgB) 

 3RD: CORRECT The Lies You Have Believed.

Knowing the truth — presupposes that there are lies in your heart or belief system that need correction because you have believed them and act out of them.  (Satan is subtle)…

What would I have to believe about myself in order to act or feel the way I do? ….Our behaviors flow from our heart beliefs….

§  Identify and Confess the lies as sinful wrong beliefs/unbelief, etc.

§  Work through sin issues and Claim God’s forgiveness

§  Choose God’s protection … I renounce, remove Satanic attachments, seal…empower

 4THDEAL Effectively And In Detail With The Hurts.

Matthew 18:35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

 5TH:  ENLIST The Help Of Others Who Are Competent, Caring And Candid.

Discover new truth together, encourage, pray, study, serve, etc.

 Say this and claim this:

I am not a mistake, but a creation of the infinite God

I am not who I think I am, but who God says I am.

I am His child, accepted and cleansed of all guilt.

I am eternally loved by God.  Heaven is my home.

I am His workmanship, His handiwork, born again in Christ to know Him and to love Him.

I am the light of the world and the salt of the earth.

I am part of His family and new community, the church.

I have been hurt, wounded and battered, but by His stripes I am healed.

I can know the truth and the truth will set me free.

I am not the great “I am”, but by God’s love and grace I am who and what God wants me to be.


Jesus said You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free…

and if the Son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed.  It is a process…takes time takes understanding…..and above all it takes experiencing God truth in your heart… takes Jesus Christ & the power of His Spirit and his word.

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