There’s an enemy that lurks just below the surface of our lives. Its influence can be debilitating and even deadly. It may be Evil’s primary tool for rendering us ineffective and defeated. And no one is immune to its whispers. But this enemy can be conquered in ways we might least expect. This enemy is the destructive emotion of shame.

When you think of the word “shame,” what other similar words come to mind. What does shame feel like? When have you most recently felt shame?

We might also describe shame as “the feeling of not being enough.” Why is this feeling particularly destructive? When have you experienced the feeling of not being enough?

Shame is first mentioned in the earliest description of the first man and woman’s connection with each other and with God. Read Genesis 2:25. Why do you think being “unashamed” is mentioned here?

Read Genesis 3:6-8. Where do you see shame at work in these verses? In what way was the serpent particularly crafty (Read Genesis 3:1-5)? Why is hiding a common response to shame?

What do you notice about Jesus’ approach to shame from Hebrews 12:2? What is the relationship between shame and joy and vulnerability?

Read John 21:15-17. How does shame try and derail our contribution in life and the investment of our gifts? What was Peter’s shame about? How did Jesus encourage Peter?