Breaking The Chains Of Shame-Sermon
BREAKING THE CHAINS OF SHAME
22 The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. 23 The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." 24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, "You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?" 2 The woman said to the serpent, "From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, "You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.'" 4 The serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die!
5 "For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 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. 8 They 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.
9 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"
10 He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." NASU
Webster’s dictionary defines the term “SHAME” as a “…feeling of disgrace or guilt…a feeling of inferiority or unworthiness.” Shame is that negative feeling or emotion we get on the inside of ourselves when we know we’re not acting the way we’re supposed to act…when we know we’ve done something we had no business doing. In the Bible, shame is described as that awareness in the innermost part of our being that let’s us know that we’ve transgressed against God’s law or we’ve violated one of God’s commands. Shame is that guilty feeling we get on the inside when we know we’ve offended the very presence of God in our hearts. Shame can come upon us in one of two ways: we can experience shame the moment we do something wrong or we can experience shame the moment we fail to do something right. The Bible has much to say about shame. When Joseph was engaged to Mary but found out she was pregnant and that he wasn’t the BABY DADDY, the Bible says he decided to divorce her quietly, because he didn’t want to put her to shame. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1 that God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. And the Bible declares that Jesus suffered the shame of dying publicly on the cross that you and I might be able to have a relationship with God.
Where does shame come from? Well, for the Christian believer, shame comes when we choose to sin against God. Shame comes when we decide to do things our way instead of doing things God’s way. Shame comes to the Christian believer when we choose to reject God’s truth and decide to embrace the lies of the enemy.
And one of the problems we’re facing in our contemporary society is that there seems to be very little in our world today that causes us to be ashamed. We’re living in a world in which there seems to be no more shame at all…THINGS THAT USE TO MAKE US BLUSH, NOW DON’T EVEN MAKE US BLINK. It use to be that if you were out at the mall and you saw some brother with his pants down around his behind, you would think that brother had serious problems, but now its cool to show your droughs in public because things that use to make us blush, now don’t even make us blink. When I grew up watching I LOVE LUCY, whenever they showed a bedroom scene, they would always show Lucy in one bed and Ricky Ricardo in another bed, but now, not only is everybody in the same bed, but now the camera takes you all up under the sheets and shows you everything that’s going on because things that use to make us blush, now don’t even make us blink! When a so-called artist can get federal funds to take a picture of Jesus on the cross and put it in a glass of urine and call it art, WE HAVE NO MORE SHAME! When one of the most popular shows on television for young people is a show that actively promotes gay and lesbian lifestyles, WE HAVE NO MORE SHAME.
And that might be somebody in this place today who is dealing with some shame issues in your life today. You did something a long time ago, but your still dealing with the shame. You made a mistake a long time ago, but you’re still dealing with the shame. You dropped the ball some time ago, but you’re still emabarrased about it and you’re still dealing with the shame. Well, I’ve got good news for you today! Because in this text Adam and Eve teach us some key, Biblical principles on how we can break the chains of guilt and shame from our lives…
THESIS STATEMENT –Learning to reject feelings of shame and embracing the Grace and mercy of God is essential to living in freedom and victory. Only by understanding how shame affects us and how we can apply the Biblical principles necessary to break the power of shame in our lives will we be able to live the victorious Christian life. HOW DOES SHAME AFFECT US?
1) SHAME CAUSES US TO COVER-UP OUR MESS WITH INADEQUATE MEANS - Gen 3:7 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. NASU
I hate to admit it but, when I was a little boy, I was kind of lazy and I hated doing household chores. Being the only boy in a house full of women, I figured with three other women in the house, my momma and two younger sisters, they should be the ones to clean the house. I mean, I’m a man and any strong, respectable man wouldn’t be caught dead washin’ no dishes and cleanin’ no toilets…house cleaning was for the women to do. And so I decided to leave the household chores for the womenfolk to do. But how many of you know my mamma quickly beat…I mean persuasively persuaded me that I, too had to share in the household duties. Out of all the chores I had to do, I used to hate when my mamma made me sweep. We couldn’t afford a vacuum cleaner so…guess what, I WAS THE VACCUM CLEANER! I WAS THE DUST DEVIL IN OUR HOUSE, CAN I GET A WITNESS? I used to hate sweeping up the house. Sweeping takes a lot of effort. Sweeping takes a lot of work. First, you got to sweep all the dirt into a neat little pile, and then you gotta get the dust pan and bend down and sweep up the dirt into the dust pan and then walk the dust pan over to the trash can and dump the dirt. Don’t let there be a big pile of dirt…you might have to make to two or three trips back and forth to the trash can before your work was done.
But, being the brilliant young boy that I was, I came up with a solution. I came up with a brilliant idea that would save me time and energy in sweeping up the whole house and walking back and forth to the trash can with the dust pan full of dirt. I discovered that if I just swept the dirt under the rug, then the floor would still look clean and I could save myself the time and energy of bending down and walking the dust pan back and forth to the trash can. My plan seemed reasonable, and it made a lot of sense to me.
At first my brilliant scheme worked. I would sweep the dirt under the rug and mamma didn’t know the difference. But something strange happened over time. You see I discovered that the problem with sweeping stuff under the rug is that if you keep sweeping stuff under the rug, sooner or later it makes your carpet lumpy. And what you thought you were hiding eventually gets found out anyway because you can only sweep so much dirt under a rug. You can’t keep hiding dirt. You can’t keep covering up dirt. The only thing to do with dirt is to get rid of it. Get it out of your house! I discovered that you can’t keep sweeping stuff under the rug without it eventually getting found out. When mamma saw how lumpy her carpet was getting and she looked underneath that rug and saw all that dirt I had swept under the rug…how many of you know she beat…I mean persuasively persuaded me to clean out all of that hidden dirt and deal with it the right way. I TOLD YA’LL I WAS A BRILLIANT CHILD!
And somebody looking at me right now, you’re dealing with your problems and the shame in your life the same way I kept dealing with the dirt in my house…you keep sweeping it under the rug. You keep covering it up and covering it up. And when you and I sin against God and that sin causes shame in our lives, we tend to try to sweep that dirt under the rug…in other words, the SHAME IN OUR LIVES CAUSES US TO TRY TO COVER OUR MESS WITH INADEQUATE MEANS and that’s exactly what we see Adam & Eve doing in this text. Is your Bible open? LOOK AT THE TEXT!
In verses 1 through 6 we see Adam and Eve sinning against God by eating the fruit God told them specifically not to eat. In verse 7, the text says that after they disobeyed God and ate the fruit anyway that their eyes were opened and the knew that they were naked – they became self-conscious of their own weakness, their own vulnerability. Their became aware that they were absolutely exposed. And the next thing we see them doing is critical. Look at Adam and Eve as they try to COVER THEIR MESS WITH INADEQUATE MEANS…the Bible says, in an effort to try to cover their nakedness, that they took some leaves off the tree and made themselves loin coverings. TOUCH SOMEBODY AND TELL’M THEY MADE SOME FIG LEAF DROUGHS! Tell somebody, THAT’S WERE FRIUT OF THE LOOMS REALLY COMES FROM!
Look at Adam and Eve, sitting there, ashamed, alone, separated from God, aware of their own weakness and sinfulness, trying to cover their mess with inadequate means. God created them to rule and to reign on their earth, but here they are, siting there with fig leaf droughs on trying to hide from God. DO YOU SEE WHAT SIN AND SHAME WILL DO TO YOU? Shame will cause you to try to cover your mess with fig leafs…sin will cause you to try to cover your mess with inadequate means…
- YOU IN THE HOUSE SMOKIN’ A JOINT AND WHEN YOUR COMPANY COMES OVER YOU SPRAY SOME LYSOL AND POP A FEW ALTOIDS IN YOUR MOUTH, tell somebody…THAT AIN’T NOTHING BUT A FIG LEAF!
- You don’t love yourself, but you try to cover up your own self-hatred by abusing and misusing other folks, tell somebody, THAT AIN’T NOTHING BUT A FIG LEAF!
- You go around talkin’ bout other folks when the truth is you’re jealous of the VERY folks you’re talkin’ about…tell somebody, THAT AIN’T NOTHING BUT A FIG LEAF!
- You go around demanding perfection from everybody else when the truth is you haven’t really dealt with the imperfections in your own life…tell somebody…THAT AIN’T NOTHING BUT A FIG LEAF!
- You work and work and work and work and then work some more when the truth you stay at work because you don’t won’t to deal with what’s facing you at home…tell somebody…THAT AIN’T NOTHIN BUT A FIG LEAF
And the problem with fig leaves is…THEY ALWAYS END UP FALLING APART! Sooner or later, the very thing we’re using to cover up our mess will be the very thing that will end up revealing our mess! Fig leaves were never designed to cover our nakedness. The Bible says in Titus 3:5-6, “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior…” It’s not by works of righteousness that we are saved, in other words, there’s nothing we can do in and of ourselves to cover up our own mess. That’s what Paul was talking about over there in Ephesians 2:8-9 where he says FOR BY GRACE YOU’VE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH…AND THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, LEST ANY MAN SHOULD BOAST. Apart from the grace and mercy of God on our lives, everything else we try to do to cover up our own mess amounts to nothing but mere fig leaves. That’s nothing but inadequate measures to try to cover up our mess.
Shame cause us to use inadequate measures to try to cover our mess. BUT LOOK WHAT ELSE SHAME CAUSE US TO DO…SECONDLY…
SHAME CAUSES US TO SEEK REFUGE IN RIDICULOUS PLACES –
Gen 3:8- “They 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.”
Can I ask you a question? IF YOU’VE GOT A NEED, SHOULDN’T YOU GO TO THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR NEED MET? If you’re sick where should you go…to the hospital. If you’re car breaks down where should you go…to the autoshop. If you want to buy some food where should you go…to the grocery store. If your tooth hurts, where should you go…to the dentist office. If you want to buy a book where should you go…to the bookstore. If you want to buy some clothes where should you go…to the mall. If you want to exercise where should you go…to the gym. If you want to get your hair did and your nails did, where should you go…to the beauty salon. If you want a bank loan where should you go…to the bank! My point is simple, IF YOU GOT A NEED, YOU NEED TO GO TO THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR NEED MET! If you wanted you hair did and your nails did, you wouldn’t go the dentist office! If you wanted your car fixed, you wouldn’t run to the book store, no, YOU GO TO THE PLACE WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR NEED MET.
My brothers and sisters, that principle is true in the natural and that principle is also true in the spiritual. IF YOU GOT A SPIRITUAL NEED, YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR NEED TO THE ONE WHO CAN MEET YOUR SPIRITUAL NEED. IF YOU GOT A SIN PROBLEM, YOU NEED TO TAKE YOUR SIN TO THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DEAL WITH YOUR SIN…BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT WE DO, IS IT? And that’s certainly not what we see Adam and Eve doing in this text. LOOK AT THE TEXT! In Genesis 3:1-6, we see Adam and Eve sinning against God, in verse 7, we see Adam and Eve making themselves fig leaf droughs trying to cover their own nakedness, but look at where they try to hide in verse 8. Verse 8 says, “And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. QUESTION: how you gon’ hide from God among the trees in the garden? How are you going to hide from the Creator in some stuff He created? I mean, you gon’ try to hide from God…in some trees? I would’ve at least ran to a cave or something…you gon try to hide from the creator of the universe…in some trees? It was God who made that garden. It was God who made those trees. How you think the One who made trees wont be able to see around or through some trees? DO YA’LL SEE HOW RIDICULOUS THAT IS? But let’s keep it real in here today…DON’T WE ALL DO SOME RIDICULOUS THINGS TRYING TO HIDE OUR STUFF FROM GOD? Let me let you in on a little secret…YOU AIN’T GOT NO HIDING PLACE THAT GOD DON’T KNOW ABOUT! My brothers and sisters, it’s ridiculous to think you can hide from God. If you try to play Hide-and-go-seek with God, let me tell you…HE ALWAYS WINS! David said it best when he declared in Psalm 139:7-10, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.”
Shame causes us to seek refuge in ridiculous places. You callin’ psychic hotlines, and runnin’ to different gurus and so-called experts…you callin’ your cousin-nem and your auntie’nem…SOONER OR LATER YOU GON’ HAVE TO REALIZE THAT THE ANSWER TO YOUR PROBLEM IS NOT IN MAN, BUT THE ANSWER TO YOUR PROBLEM IS IN GOD. AND ITS CRAZY FOR YOU TO THINK THAT YOU CAN FIND REFUGE IN A RIDICULOUS PLACE.
Reminds me of what the ole’ country preacher talked about when he talked about how a sheep and a pig will react differently in a mudhole. The country preacher said that a pig belongs in a mudhole, but its ridiculous for a sheep to be in a mudhole. The country preacher said that a sheep that falls into a mudhole will never be happy, because there’s something on the inside of him that lets him now that’s its ridiculous for him to be in a mudhole. Any sheep that’s got any kind of sense will struggle and cry and do his level best with all the power within him to get out of that mudehole.
But, the country preacher said, a pig is not like a sheep. Whereas a sheep will do everything in its power to avoid a mudehole, a pig will go around looking for a mudhole. When he finds a mudehole, he will always slide right into the mudhole and if you try to take him out of the mudehole he will squeal and holler until you leave him in the mudehole.
That’s why, in the Bible, Jesus calls us SHEEP, not PIGS, because there’s just some places we ain’t got no business being. If you are God’s sheep, you ain’t got no business wallowing in the mud with the pigs. Mud is for pigs. But as a sheep, you were meant to graze in the high pastures! Pigs were made to like mud, but you were created to be clean. And if you find yourself in the mud, you ought to be doing everything you can to call out to the Father to come and get you out of the mud. Because the mud ain’t no place for a sheep of Jesus to be.
SHAME CAUSE YOU TO COVER YOUR MESS WITH INADEQUATE MEANS, and SHAME CAUSE TO SEEK REFUGE IN RIDICULOUS PLACES, but thirdly, if you look at verses 8 and 10 you’ll discover that…
SHAME CAUSES US TO RUN FROM THE ONE WE SHOULD RUN TO - Gen 3:8, They 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. NASU
Gen 3:10, He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." NASU
Adam and Eve had sinned against God. They had rebelled against the One who loved them the most. They had turned their backs on their Creator and listened to the voice of a snake. Instead of following the commands of their God, they embraced the lies of a satanic-serpent. When they bit into this forbidden fruit. The sweet juices they thought they would taste, turned out to taste like dust and sand as they felt the strange sensation of death and mortality rush through their bodies. They once had an unhindered relationship with God. They shared a depth of fellowship with him that filled their lives with joy and happiness. They use to look forward everyday to their Creator-Friend to come and visit them in the beauty of the garden in the cool of the day. But everything changed when they bit into that forbidden fruit. Something strange happened to them. The voice that use to draw them in, now somehow repelled them. The presence they use to long for and thirst for, now somehow frightened them. That Perfection and Holiness that use to fill their lives with such light and love, now only reminded them of their own sin and weakness. Before they bit into that fruit, they used to run to God when He would come to them in the garden, but now, all they could think to do was to run and hide. THE VERY PRSENCE THEY LONGED FOR WAS THE VERY PRESENCE THEY RAN FROM, and that’s what shame does to us, it makes us RUN FROM THE ONE WE SHOULD BE RUNNING TO. Shame fills us with an overwhelming awareness of our sin and God’s sinlessness or holiness. When we see how sinful we are and we realize how perfect and holy God is, our natural inclination is to do what Adam and Eve did, to run and hide.
That’s what Isaiah was saying over there in Isaiah 6 where he had a vision of the Lord’s holiness. Isaiah said in Isaiah 6:1-5, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.” BUT AFTER ISAIAH SAW ALL THAT HOLINESS, ISAIAH LOOKED AT HIMSELF…HE SAW HOW HOLY GOD WAS AND HE SAW HOW SINFUL AND WEAK HE WAS, AND HE DECLARED…"Woe to me!" "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
That’s what Peter was talking about over there in Luke 5 where Peter and his homeys had been fishin’ all night long and had caught nothing, and then here comes Jesus in the morning tellin’ Peter, let down your nets for a catch. And Peter gave the Lord all kinds of excuses, but he did what the Lord told him to do anyway, and guess what, when he did what the Lord told him to do, they caught so much fish that Peter had to call some more of his homies from the other boats to come and help him pull in the nets. And after Peter saw the great miracle from the Lord, after Peter got a glimpse of the holiness and perfection of Jesus, the Bible says that Peter fell down on his knees and said in Luke 5:8, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’ ANYTIME OUR SINFULNESS COMES INTO CONTACT WITH GOD’S HOLINESS, THE NATURAL INCLINATION IS TO RUN AND HIDE.
That’s why when you’re dealing with a shameful situation, the devil makes sure you stop coming to church, stop coming to Bible study, stop going to your small group. Stop being around folks who can tell you the truth from the Word of God…the devil doesn’t want you to be around anything or anybody who can point you back to holiness. BUT I’VE GOT SOME GOD NEWS FOR YOU TODAY…THE CHAINS OF SHAME CAN BE BROKEN N YOUR LIFE TODAY…YOU CAN BE SET FREE FROM SHAME TODAY. JESUS SAID, “AND YOU SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH, AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE!” YOU CAN BE SET FREE FROM THE CHAINS OF SHAME TODAY IF YOU EMBRACE FOUR CRITICAL TRUTHS FROM THE WORD OF GOD.
HOW CAN YOU BREAK THE CHAINS OF SHAME IN YOUR LIFE?
1) REALIZE GOD ALREADY KNOWS ABOUT YOUR SHAME – The Bible says in Hebews 4:13, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
2) REMEMBER DESPITE YOUR SHAME GOD STILL LOVES YOU – the Bible says in Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
3) REST IN KNOWING THAT NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE DONE, GOD WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU – Jesus said in John 14:18, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. “ David declared in Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
4) REJOICE, GOD HAS ALREADY TAKEN CARE OF YOUR SHAME – The Bible says in Hebrews 12:1-3, “…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
CLOSE – WHEN OUR KIDS WERE YOUNGER, WE TO TAKE THEM TO RESTURANTS TO TRY TO TEACH THEM SOPHISTICATION AND CULTURE. WE WOULD ALL DRESS UP NICE, GET INTO OUR LITTLE HOOPTIE, AND GO TO A NICE RESTURANT…BUT IT NEVER FAILED, SOMEBODY WOULD ALWAYS SPILL THE MILK…BUT I TRIED TO NEVER MAKE MY KIDS FEEL BAD WHEN THAT HAPPENED, BECAUSE I WAS TRYING TO TEACH THEM…DON’T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK… THE MILK IS SPILLED, THAT’S IN THE PAST, THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT NOW…YOU CAN’T PUT THE MILK BACK IN THE CONTAINER…DON’T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK! I WAS TRYING TO TEACH MY CHILDREN…DON’T LET YOUR PAST MISTAKES CAUSE YOU TO MISS THE BLESSING OF YOUR RIGHT NOW…
NOW, WHEN THEY SPILLED THE MILK, WE HAD ONE OF TWO CHOICES: WE COULD CRITICIZE THEM AND FUSS AT THEM FOR SOMETHING THEY ALREADY KNEW, NAMELY THAT THE MILK HAD BEEN SPILLED, OR WE COULD CLEAN UP THE MESS AND TRY TO DEAL WITH THE CAUSE OF WHY THE MILK GOT SPILLED IN THE FIRST PLACE. IF WE WOULD’VE JUST FUSSED AT THEM, GUESS WHAT, THAT MILK WOULD HAVE STAYED ON THAT TABLE AND AFTER A FEW DAYS, THAT MILK WOULD HAVE STARTED STINKING…AND WHAT STARTED OUT AS A LITTLE SPILL THAT AFFECTED JUST A FEW PEOPLE, WOULD HAVE TURNED INTO A NASTY, STINKING MESS THAT WOULD OFFEND MANY PEOPLE BECAUSE CRYING OVER SPILLED MILK DOESN’T FIX YOUR SPILLED-MILK PROBLEM…
AND SOMEBODY LOOKING AT ME RIGHT NOW IS DEALING WITH THE NASTY STENCH OF A MISTAKE YOU MADE A LONG TIME AGO… YOU DROPPED THE BALL, YOU MADE A MISTAKE, YOU SPILLED THE MILK! I’VE STOPPED BY TO TELL YOU, DON’T CRY OVER SPILLED MILK, BECAUSE THERE IS SOMEBODY WHO CAN HANDLE YOUR SPILLED-MILK PROBLEM. THERE IS SOMEBODY WHO CAN GET THE MILK BACK INTO THE CONTAINER! DON’T ASK ME HOW HE DOES IT….THERE’S SOMEBODY…