Blog Post by Sister Diane Foster
Genesis 2:25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame (noun). NIV
In the beginning, life was good. Yah finished creating His Garden and topped it off with Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve enjoyed this goodness as they walked around in the garden blissfully enjoying the food and good weather while communing with one another and enjoying the animals. Life was so good that wearing clothes was not part of their lifestyle. They walked around as naked and transparent as a fish. They lived a life of goodness and virtue, purity, goodness, and simplicity.
The KJV version reads: And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed (adjective, a feeling or emotion). The NIV expresses the nature of Adam and Eve more accurately by using a noun; “they felt no shame,” and no event had as yet transpired to cause them to know shame.
HaSatan, Yahuah’s antagonist did not like that Adam and Eve were living a good and virtuous life, so he introduced them to opposing thought; thought that went against the instructions of Yahuah which up till then they obeyed. Yahuah commanded the man, saying:
You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for, in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die. Genesis 2:16-17.
Adam and Eve had no problem following Yah’s orders, but haSatan hated their obedience so he came up with a plan to destroy Yah’s good and perfect work by defiling their good minds with evil thoughts. He approached Eve and during communication, he appealed to her feelings and emotions along with her consciousness. He told her “you shall not die,” and convinced her to partake of the forbidden. She gave to Adam and from that moment on innocence was lost. The first thing they realized was they were naked. But they were naked in more than the physical sense. Self-awareness developed in their consciousness and now they became ashamed of themselves.
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew [self-awareness; emphasis added] that they were naked, and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves aprons. Genesis 3:7
Yahuah came into the garden expecting to spend time with them and discovered their absence. “Adam where are you?” Yah asked.
And he [Adam] said to him, I heard your voice as you walked in the garden, and I feared [dreaded] because I was naked, and I hid. And Yahuah said to him, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Genesis 3:11-12.
What had just happened to Adam and Eve’s sense of worthiness and obedience? They lost their innocence and their transparency. Their life of bliss was over. Their disobedience created in them fears and dread. So much so that they hid their temporal bodies behind something to escape the self-awareness emotion of shame.
Let us talk about this dilapidating emotion of shame. There are different expressions of shame. A person can be put to shame (shamefacedness), a person can become ashamed, or put to shame. There are shameful things and behaviors, one can feel ashamed, be ashamed, and be disgraced. Shameful things happened to Yahusha as He became an object of shame during His Crucifixion.
This blog focuses on understanding shame. The attitude of the mind is very effective and HaSatan knows this and uses this in his efforts that penetrate into the soul and distracts the mind from Yahuah. This blog points to how we experience this emotion, how shame happens, and how Yahuah our Sovereign Elohim helps those of us who have been bitten by it to gain the knowledge and strength (transformation of mind) to avoid being bitten by shame again. Remember, shame is part of the fallen nature of humanity and is a key to restoration.
For Adam and Eve, a negative awareness engineered by haSatan entered in, opening their eyes, minds, feelings, and emotions to evil. Their souls became defiled by shame. Shame is a negative emotion with mixed feelings of worthlessness, rejection, embarrassment, and disgrace. Shame is recognized by knowledge of guilt.
Shame, like other negative emotions, is as prevalent today as the day Satan first introduced it to our infamous Adam and Eve. We have all experienced it in life in any number of ways. Do you currently harbor shame? Have you hidden your shame like Adam and Eve, behind something else? Do you know how you got it? Do you remember the first time you first felt shame? Do you want to be rid of it? How difficult is it to talk about shame? I harbored shame for so long that I did not think I could ever break free of it.
But is a feeling of shame all that bad? Is there anything good that can come from shame? Can being ashamed lead us to repentance, can shame? Can AbbaYah take our sin of shame and turn it around to honor and respect, dignity, and glorification? How?
Shame and Guilt, are they the same?
Shame and guilt are similar in that they both fall into a category of “moral” emotions meaning that they influence moral behavior; they are both self-referential, and negative, involve some kind of internal attributions, are experienced interpersonally, and can be triggered by similar events. The primary distinction is that shame focuses on the self as the object of evaluation, whereas guilt focuses on a specific behavior. Guilt can be a positive motivator for changing behavior, while shame often results in unhelpful behaviors or paralysis. Guilt typically involves remorse and regret, motivating one to confess, apologize, and make amends. In contrast, shame involves shrinking and feeling worthless resulting in wanting to hide, escape, or attack, potentially leading to self-destructive and harmful behaviors.
Common sources of guilt include acts of dishonesty such as lying, stealing, selfishness, cheating, infidelity, and hurting others. Guilt relates to making a mistake. What you did was bad. Shame, however, means “to cover up and to envelop” and is a state of being rather than doing. Shame says, “You are no good, you are bad, you are inadequate.” The Apostle Paul illustrates the difference between guilt and shame when he says, “For the good that I will do, I do not do; but the evil I will not do, that I practice” (Romans 7:19). That is guilt resulting from doing. Then Paul agonizes, “Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:2). That is the voice of shame speaking.
Guilt says, “I did the wrong thing”. Shame says, “I am the wrong person.” Guilt focuses on a specific event or action, and shame takes over our sense of who we are. (https://au.thegospelcoalition.org/article/jesus-and-our-shame.)
Another difference between shame and guilt is guilt can be externally forgiven. When the person is forgiven for their trespass for instance infidelity; when they repent and confess their wrongdoing restoration is possible. Here the individual returns to a homeostatic state, meaning, emotionally they feel better hopefully in a humbling way.
This cannot be said for the person who feels shame. Shame is a heavy burden, bearing down on the individual. Shame hits us at the core because though we may have been forgiven, internally we continue feeling feel bad about who we are for doing it (Paul called himself a wretch). We cannot let it go. It becomes toxic, it becomes chronic, it is persistent, and prolonged creating a fear (dread) that we will never be free of it. Fear belongs to Satan and the person who feels pain is locked in Satan’s prison. I have since learned, HalleluYah that Yahusha came that I no longer have to sit in prison where the doors are opened waiting for me by faith, to walk out.
Satan is the accuser or opponent of the brethren. Notice here the word brethren, Satan does not accuse his own. He introduced the emotion and tries to keep us slaves to it. But He is the father of lies (John 8:44). Here lies the hope of the brethren, the chosen of Yah. By living in the presence of Yahuah and Yahusha haMashiach his accusations are revealed and his lies exposed. As shown through shame and guilt may appear to be alike, shame is more dilapidating as it carries internal, subjective damage. Whereas guilt relates to wrongdoing, shame relates to feeling wrong about an action taken. Chronic shame as stated above involves shrinking and feeling worthless resulting in wanting to hide, escape, or attack, potentially leading to self-destructive and harmful behaviors such as withdrawal, isolation, and disconnection, even suicide. No, chronic shame is not guilt.
(Be sure to read next month’s newsletter for Part 2)
 Christine J. Park, “Chronic Shame: A perspective Integrating Religion and Spirituality.” Journal of Religion & Spirituality In Social Work: Social Thought” 35, no. 4: 356.