Shame is a powerful emotion. Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior. It’s not just the feeling of guilt or “I’ve done something bad.” Shame is the feeling that I am something bad.
Satan is a Liar
We may feel shame for something we have done. But what can be more harmful is that we can feel shame for what someone has done to us. Victims of abuse often feel shame even though they were not at fault for their abuse. Satan, our enemy, is also called the accuser. He will whisper in your ear that there is something wrong with you and that is why an awful thing happened. He will say you are not worthy for Jesus to save you.
Satan is a liar, a very convincing liar. He tries to keep us hung-up on past mistakes, flaws, setbacks, or sins against us. If he can keep us in shame, then he can distract us and take our focus off Jesus. If satan can get us caught up in our shameful ways, then he will fulfill his ultimate plan to make us feel that the Lord does not care. No matter how you feel, you can come to Jesus for comfort and encouragement. Find your identity in who Jesus says you are, not as the world may define you.
A Shamed Woman Changed
The story of the woman at the well was a about a woman caught up in shame. She had a multitude of husbands and was living with a person who she was not married to. This was out of the cultural norm of the day and she was probably the topic of local gossip.
Normally, women would draw water in the morning or evening when it was cooler. This woman was going to the well in the heat of the day because she was filled with shame and she wanted to avoid the wagging tongues. Her lifestyle was keeping her in bondage, but then she met Jesus. Her encounter with Jesus would change everything. Now, instead of avoiding other villagers, she forgets her water jug and runs back to town to tell everyone about Jesus. No longer filled with shame, she was now able to free others.
John 4:28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him. 
Messiah Came to Restore
As you make Jesus your Lord and Savior, you can see yourself as He sees you. You can see yourself as a child of God. You are so valuable to God that Jesus died for your sins. No matter what those around you may say, you have worth and now purpose for living.
The prophet Isaiah wrote about a time when there would be restoration, this was a prophecy of Jesus coming to save us. The woman at the well was anticipating the Messiah and Jesus told her that He was Messiah. What Isaiah had prophesied had come true for the woman at the well:
Isaiah 61:7 Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. Why? This woman could now say these words with Isaiah. Isaiah 61: I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.
Freedom from Shame
If you have made Jesus your Lord and Savior and repented of your sins, then no matter what you have done, you are free from condemnation and shame. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, the debt was paid in full. Therefore, the enemy has no right to accuse us because Jesus Christ paid for every sin in full. We are not only forgiven but we are declared righteous! This doesn’t mean we can willfully live in sin, because when we do, we give satan an ‘open’ door to destroy us. However, when we run to God, it is His love and kindness that draws us to repentance (Romans 2:4)!
The next time you find yourself feeling guilty or shameful about something that happened in the past I encourage you to start to praising Jesus for what He did so we could be free from condemnation and guilt! Place your eyes on Jesus and run to Him for it is there that we will find true freedom from sin and the guilt and shame that comes with it!
To hear how Jesus helped the woman at the well overcome shame, listen here: https://podpoint.com/light-of-christ-church-podcast/encountering-jesus-with-the-woman-at-the-well