Post Author: Judy Moore

Judy Moore is the Associate Pastor at Riverside Church.
March 14, 2021
Human | S7: What do I do with shame?

Teaching Series Introduction:

People are complex. You and I are complex. How do we understand ourselves and each other? How do we move toward one another in God-honouring ways? How do we love wisely in the context of everyday relationships?
(Michael Emlet)

One of the most memorable songs in recent years is the song ‘Human’ by Rag ‘N’ Bone man. It’s an honest reflection on the complexity of human relationships, with the line ‘I’m only human after all. Don’t put your blame on me.’ It’s something we’ve all felt at times – I’m just human, don’t expect perfection! The word ‘human’ originally means ‘of the earth’. It’s where we get our word humours from – dust, from the ground, from the earth.

During 2020, we’ve had a glimpse of some of the limits of our humanity, but also some of the best of us humans. And, as we begin to emerge out of this pandemic, it’s worth getting back to basics to remember some foundations of what it means to be human. When we know who we are, we can rebuild for what’s ahead.

Our guide will be the very opening words of the Bible. Yes, the first few chapters of Genesis provide is with rock-solid foundations to be able to navigate uncharted times. We’ll be thinking about our purpose, our relationships, our sexuality, our identity, and how we live in changing times. We’ll be grappling with some pretty big questions that we all face in life.

And as we do so, we’ll discover the freedom in being neither dust nor divine. Yes, join us at Riverside to find the freedom in being able to say “I’m only human after all!”

Session 7

Title: Human – Session 7: what do i do with shame?
By: JUDY Moore
Date: 14 march 2021
Bible Passage: Genesis (chapter 2, verses 25 to chapter 3, verse 10)

In a ‘cancel culture’ in which we try and shame those we differ from, what do we do with our own shame? It’s a part of the human story since we began, and so what do we do with it and where is the hope?

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Study Questions

  1. What is shame? What does it feel like?

  2. Read Genesis 2:25-3:10. Why don’t Adam & Eve feel any shame in v25? And yet, by 3:7-10 everything has changed. In what ways is this story, our story too?

  3. What is the response of Adam & Eve in their shame, and what is the response of God? How does this compare to how we might have expected God to respond? 

  4. Read Romans 10:9-11. In what ways has Jesus covered over our shame?

  5. Without necessarily looking back in unhelpful ways, in what ways do you experience shame? Do you think other people experience the same degree of shame as you?

  6. Author Scott Sauls says, ‘Ever since Eden, every man, woman, and child has been facing a hidden battle with shame. The vague sense that there is something deeply wrong with us compels us to hide, blame, and run for cover.’ Do you agree? How do we help a society battling with shame?

  7. Take some time to pray – asking that God would help you see what Jesus has done to take away your shame, and also that you would be able to then share that good news with those around you battling with shame.


BOOK: ‘The Soul of Shame’ by Curt Thompson

ARTICLE: https://scottsauls.com/blog/2019/08/08/shame-image-god-gaining-freedom-love/

ARTICLE: a beautiful article, full of hope  https://www.fathommag.com/stories/shame-on-shame

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Riverside is a church made up of people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences all with one thing in common, our discovery of God and his amazing love. 

We are on a journey together to ‘help people get to know Jesus and grow as his followers’. 

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