New Video Series 'Towards a Biblical Theology of Shame and Love' featuring Rev. Roland Hearn, District Superintendent of the Australia North and West District, is designed to help individuals learn a Biblical theology of shame and consider the practical implications of understanding how shame impacts our relationship with God.

Here is an introduction to this course containing ten videos. In this 10-video conversations, you will be challenged to think about a biblical theology of shame and love. What does it mean to experience shame? How do we demonstrate our love for another person? Why is it essential to think about our life as a narrative? What is the role of sanctification in addressing shame? You are invited to join the conversation as we discuss these questions and more like them.

As you complete each section, you can Click to Mark Complete at the lower right of the page.  You can then comment on the section and take the exam for the session. 

If you complete all the sessions in this course, please feel free to email us at and request a Certificate of Completion.

We encourage you to pray before and after you finish each of the lessons. Ask God to help you grow in understanding and to show you how to apply what you are learning to your life. While we will be looking for your comments and look forward to walking alongside you, we know the Holy Spirit will be our teacher.


Think of an experience, and tell the story from your childhood that has helped make you the person that you are. The story can be a positive experience, a funny experience, a struggle, or a painful memory. It is entirely up to you based upon how safe you feel in this current group.

Describe the words people hear in their lives that shape their sense of who they are.

How much of your self-image is a result of the words you have heard spoken into your life through the years? If they were positive words, how did they help you? If they were negative, how did they shape you?

Describe your identity of Christ. Use as many constructs as you can to achieve a clear picture of who Jesus Christ is.

We look forward to your comments and questions below!
Wow! I love that analogy of the t-shirt. How enlightening! I would say most walk around with multiple words written on their shirts.
I am so glad you are on the journey of healing. Thank you for trusting us enough to share.
Thank you for sharing your story and I am so sorry for the loss you have experienced with your mother. I have had a suicide in my family as well and know the pain of the experience. However, it was not a parent that took their life so I cannot imagine what this must have been like for you.
At the age of seven I lost my mother to suicide, grew up without a father, nurtured by an older sibling who was in her late teens. I was cared for by my sibling but the emotional and verbal abuse penetrated my inner being which resulted in living a life of fear. Today although I have given Christ first place in my life I am still healing from the trauma of public shame. To God be the glory.
My mother took me to church every Sunday . When I became a teenager I quit going to church my introduction to alcohol and the feelings that I got from it I believe are my downfall my introduction to AA and subsequent living that lifestyle I believe that only save my life will gives me some experience and strength and I hope to share with my fellow suffer nurse suffer .
My T Shirt would say I once was lost and now I'm found by my Amazing heavenly father who saved me! My name is Michelle and I grew up with my mom basically raising me with the help of my grandparent's who taught me all about Jesus and his love.My father was in and out of my life more out. I had abandamant issues because of it. so as I got older I sought out the attention of the opposite sex not always positive attention. As I got older my father started noticing me in a sexual way that was extremely uncomfortable for me. But in my distorted thinking it was attention. So as I got older in my twenties I went in a down spiral of divorce, sex drugs, alcohol. And lost i was on a mission of self satisfaction, numbing the pain and constantly listening to the lies that I would never be anything in life. Til I hit rock bottom and the only one I could run too was God and that's when the healing process started. God saved me!
Thank you for sharing, Nora! My prayer is that you will embrace your identity and worth as a person loved by Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. May the affection of our God be felt deeply in your daily life.
Mine would say Jesus Loves Me My mommy Loves me My Daddy loves me but drinks too much and tears me apart I might not be pretty but I am smart and I will never be lazy.
My T-shirt would say, "what is wrong with you?" My parents Where products of traumatic childhood and went through World War II, Which shaped them immensely. In this brokenness they tried to raise 6 children. While they loved us deeply, and provided for us to the best of their ability, they had no relationship skills at all. So, in my father's anger, he would always say to us children, "what is wrong with you?" This voice I heard into my early adulthood. I finally came to realise there was nothing wrong with me, it was my father. But this shaped me into a shame identity I struggled with for decades.
My name is Todd I grew up with a father who was a alcoholic most of his life and died In his early sixties as a result. He never spoke much to me and never expressed his love for me. as a result I have a hard time understanding God’s love for me. I have had to deal with a low self esteem and it seemed to get worse as I aged my marriage ended as my mental health deteriorated and now I find myself alone. I feel like I am in a boat with no rutter I read my bible and I pray for better days ahead.
At the age of 5, I was angry at my dad for something that I cannot now recall. The anger kept welling up to the point that I decided we couldn't live together. I had to leave home. I told my mom that I was leaving. She patiently tried to talk me out of leaving, but I was resolute. Mom asked me to wait as she packed me a lunch. I packed what I thought I could carry. Mom kissed me a tearful goodbye and I took out across the street and through a large (to a 5 year-old) empty lot full of weeds. Arriving at some trees near the far edge of the lot, I sat down and ate my lunch. I stared longingly at the front door of the house, waiting for dad to come out to search for me. I held-out as long as I could (maybe an hour). Finally, deciding that love from one parent was better than no love at all, I made my way home to a submissive (for me), yet joyful, reunion.
My best and earliest event that influenced my life happened shortly after my birth, when I was given a name. My grand-father suggested that Thaddée should be my first name. Accordlng to him, he told me later, an unkown and unpopular apostle is born. I grew up with that idea in my mind. To cut a long story short, I have been a Pastor for the past 25 years.
Thank you for those kind words. I look forward to this journey with you.
John, I had the blessing of attending a men’s retreat several years ago in Idaho where you spoke and I was/am so very impressed with the authority, passion and love you possess. It was a time of transformation for myself and may of the men in attendance. Looking forward to this time also. Preston Jannsen, Burns, Oregon.
Thank you for sharing your story. I know that has to be painful to even share. I am so sorry for what happened to you as a young child. Thank you for trusting us with your sacred story. We will hold on to this in our hearts and mind with care. Thank you for taking this journey with us.
When I was 6 or so, I spent a couple of years in a place called Sugar Grove. I was molested by one churchman, but others as well. God used that in my life to help me understand that I was no better than anyone else. That was the downside of living there. The upside was a pastor walked into the only store in that village and invited anyone there to come across the road to the only church in that place. I had a bathing suit on, but he said they were showing a film and it would be alright. I went across the road and found people-with the exception of one-who loved me and showed it. That same pastor asked me if I knew John 3:16. I told him no and he acted like that was terrible. So I went home and my Dad helped me find it in the Bible. The next time I saw Rev Baker I told him I know John 3:16. He asked me to quote it and I did. He was happy, but then asked me, "Do you know 1 John 1:9"? Of course, I didn't and had to go home and look it up and memorize it. That's how he fed me the Bible. No one else in my family went to church, but the church family loved me. Then, after a year of so, there was a revival. I went forward and gave my life to Jesus. I have mixed feelings about Sugar Grove, but trust the Lord that He has used everything there to teach me that God loves everyone. I hesitate to post the first of my story, but, somehow, I think I would not be the woman I am in the Lord if I didn't go through what I did there.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am grateful for your vulnerability and appreciate you trusting us. I am looking forward to the days ahead! When you think of shame, how would you define shame? What would be the difference between toxic shame and shame that is not toxic?
I’ve always had the support and love of my parents and family. Probably some of my most hurtful experiences were being made fun of by peers or feeling rejected by friends. But even more than those, for me, is a deep sense of inadequacy and fear arising from internal voices. Sometimes it’s easy to recognize the roots of feelings of inadequacy, sometimes it’s difficult because there seem to be no outside voices planting these seeds. But still these feelings take root, grow and thrive. Whether the cause is internal or external, words, thoughts, actions, etc. that destroy our sense of value attack the very image of God in us. Shame, when its purpose is not reconciliation and restoration, is often a deeply destructive emotion. Shame is a tool the church, family members and our culture have wielded to motivate behavior and belonging. God has been opening my eyes to how shame has impacted me and how it is impacting so many. He has been teaching me that “Godly sorrow/shame leads to repentance” while “worldly sorrow/shame leads to death”. (Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:10‬). This has been a powerful and formative realization for me and God has burdened my heart to explore this further and to help others address the hopelessness and deep sense of inadequacy that arise from false and toxic shame.
Having your identity grounded in being the beloved is a secure and safe place to be. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your journey. You have given me a gift of yourself today, and I am grateful.
I brought home a C on my report card. I was basically made to feel by my parents as though I had not applied myself and that this was unacceptable. My brother usually got all Ds and an occasional F but if he brought a B, it was literally cause for celebration. I was almost always a straight A student, and honestly, I hadn't applied myself when I appropriately earned that C. I still thought it unfair treatment but took the punishment and it didn't happen again. My parents were relentless with academics, always telling me I could do more because God had gifted me with an intellect. How He gifted others was not to concern me. Fairness became irrelevant, because I was taught God gifts however He chooses, and I was to make the most of what I was given. I was also to be thankful and stop whining when I was taking more difficult courses than others, because, well, the same concept applied. I have gone on to achieve many, many degrees, including becoming an MD, a chiropractor, and a few theological doctorates. I was taught these were gifts, and humility needed to accompany the accomplishments. Christ has not changed, but my relationship with Him has, and the closer we become, the more I understand through the Holy Spirit about Who He is. He is patient and allows me to be rebellious, although He has taught me firm conviction. He loves me so deeply that even when I try to share a 'worry' I have to laugh and stop myself, because in Christ, I have no worries. I know He's got this, whatever 'this' is that I bring to Him. I can't stop telling others about Him, and long to finally meet Him one day face to face. He gave me the best parents anyone could ask for, and they pushed me to achieve a lot of great things through the gifts God blessed me with. Through my parents, I saw selflessness, experienced love and kindness, as well as accountability. I have to always bring my A game, not because its a duty or compulsion, but because its where He's taught me to find my joy. Its a gift I don't deserve that He gives me anyway through His grace. My Savior lives, He is my Lord, and my life, devoted to learning, has taught me to always seek to know more about Him. My T shirt would say 'loved.'
Thank you for sharing your story! Your story matters and I am grateful you are able to have an intimate walk with Jesus Christ. I really love the insights you shared about giving people the honor they deserve.
Thank you for sharing your journey. I respect your willingness to be transparent. I am so glad you trusted us enough to risk sharing. I am looking forward to the journey ahead. Let's see what God has in store for us as we move forward and get to know one another better.
During my early years, my parents were foster parents, having had a total of 54 children of varying ages and ethnic origins pass through our home. I remember my mother on many occasions telling us, " I don't care what age the person is, or what their abilities are or are not, or what color people are, you treat them with respect. I don't care if they are white, brown, or black or orange with purple polka dots..... you treat them with respect. We are all humans we all deserve to be treated with dignity." This has always resonated with me and I do believe it has shaped my life. I tried to instill the same into my children. Words can have a powerful effect on people, and I think especially children. Words can build you up and they can tear you down. As adults we can learn to not internalize these words, but children cannot. Negative words will become their self talk and deeply effect their self esteem. If someone continues to tell you that you are a nobody, no one loves you and never will love you, that you are useless, stupid, and ugly, then those words will scar you unless you surrender them to Christ. My parents separated and divorced when I was a pre-teen. I had an abusive and jealous brother who would put me down with verbally abusive words and beat me up physically whenever he chose. I accepted Christ as my Savior as a young age (5 years old), and with that I acknowledged His unconditional love for me. In Christ I knew I was worthy, I knew I was loved, I knew I was someone... I was the daughter of the King of Kings, no matter what anyone said.
I had a wonderful set of parents, and generally affirming adult figures growing up. From my earliest memories of childhood, I have had deep feelings of inferiority and uselessness...really can’t explain why. I socially isolated myself, and didn’t really come out of that until I invited Christ into my life at age 29. That was 29 years ago, and I have grown much....but often still feel isolated from God and others
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