Floyd Godfrey, PhD


The Destructive Power of Shame on Our Spiritual Connection with God

By Floyd Godfrey, PhD

In my clinical experience as a Christian counselor, I have often encountered the debilitating effects of shame on individuals' spiritual lives. Shame can create a chasm between us and God, hindering our ability to fully accept His grace and love. Understanding how shame operates and learning to overcome it is crucial for anyone seeking a deeper connection with God.

Understanding Shame

Shame goes beyond guilt. While guilt involves feeling bad about something we've done, shame tells us that we are inherently flawed and unworthy of love and acceptance. This toxic emotion can lead to a distorted self-image and create significant barriers to experiencing God’s love. Many clients I have worked with express feeling distant from God because they believe their sins and shortcomings make them unworthy of His presence.

Biblical Insights

The Bible provides profound insights into God’s view of shame and His desire to free us from its grip. In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), Jesus illustrates the boundless grace of God. Despite the son’s waywardness and the shame he must have felt, his father welcomes him back with open arms, symbolizing God’s readiness to forgive and restore us.

The Apostle Paul reinforces this in Romans 8:1, stating, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." This powerful verse reassures us that in Christ, we are free from condemnation, and we can live in the light of God’s grace, not in the shadows of our past mistakes.

Educational Strategies

To help clients overcome shame, it is essential to educate about God’s forgiveness and their identity in Christ. Meditating on scriptures like Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us," can help replace the lies of shame with the truth of God's word. Encouraging clients to immerse themselves in such verses can transform their self-perception and strengthen their spiritual connection.

The Role of Community

Healing from shame often involves more than just personal reflection; it requires community support. James 5:16 encourages us to "confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." Sharing struggles with trusted members of the faith community can provide much-needed support and remind individuals of God's promises and their true identity in Him.

Therapeutic Interventions

Professional counseling or coaching can play a vital role in addressing the deep-seated roots of shame. Christian counselors who integrate faith into their practice offer valuable tools and biblical insights that help clients break free from the cycle of shame. Through counseling, individuals can learn to see themselves through God’s eyes and embrace their worth and value as His beloved children.


Shame is a powerful tool that the enemy uses to keep us isolated and distant from God. However, God’s love and grace are more powerful. Isaiah 61:7 beautifully captures the transformation that God promises: "Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance." By embracing this truth, we can overcome shame and experience a deeper, more fulfilling relationship with our Heavenly Father.

As a Christian counselor, I have witnessed the profound transformation that occurs when individuals replace the lies of shame with the truth of God’s love. It is my hope that through understanding and addressing shame, more people will find freedom and joy in their walk with God.

Floyd Godfrey, PhD is a Board Certified Christian Counselor and has facilitated groups within different churches and denominations over the past 30 years. He worked as a licensed clinician for 23 years. You can read more about Floyd Godfrey, PhD at www.FloydGodfrey.com.

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