Fear and shame are kissing cousins. They stem from harsh, parental discipline and degrading attitudes in the home. [See Narramore and Counts, Freedom from Guilt, 22-26.] Fears float around not noticed as a by-product of false guilt. Whenever we feel the pain of shame, we also experience…

Fear of Worthlessness (1) as a child: “I don’t really matter to anyone. I’m a bad person.” (2) as an adult: “Why try for that job? I won’t get it anyway.”

Fear of Rejection (1) as a child: “if I let them know I care, they won’t play with me.” (2) as an adult: “Nobody really nice would ever want to marry me.”

Fear of Punishment (1) as a child: “If I don’t please Mommy, she won’t speak to me.” (2) as an adult: “God is angry, and He is out to get me.”

Fear of Isolation (1) as a child: “I’m not good or lovable like others.” (2) as an adult: “If people really knew me, they wouldn’t like me.”

God is love…There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,

because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made

perfect in love (I John 4:16, 18)

Fallout from Fear

If you live with any of these, you will eventually develop a fear-based personality. This personality, buried deep in the roots of childhood shame, can stay with you for the rest of your life. You may wear the adult clothes of personal success, but deep down in your heart, the fear of being exposed as “needy” creates the desire to hide who you really are. This dishonesty undermines the likelihood of love and intimacy in close relationships.

“He [Adam] answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was

afraid because I was naked; so I hid.'” Genesis 3:10

Difficulty expressing feelings

Difficulty braving failure

Difficulty taking criticism

Difficulty facing conflict

Difficulty accepting responsibility

Difficulty making decisions

Difficulty staying alone

Difficulty feeling empathy

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your. I

will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my

righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)



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