Good vs Bad Shame, Push Us Toward God Or Away From Him

By Jocelyn Hu

By Jeff Fisher -

"What's wrong with me?" That's the question we're exploring this week in our series of key questions we ask about our sexual addictions.   

We feel bad when we look at pornography and engage in sexual sin.  Why is this? 

Part of it is learned.  We were taught by our families, churches, schools, peers, close friends, and media what they thought was right and wrong about sex.  We learned boundaries.  We learned the consequences of making wrong choices when it comes to sex.  We also learned the expectations of others when it came to sex.  These boundaries and expectations may or may not be in line with God's design, but the fact is, we have learned them. 

When we step outside of the boundaries we've been taught - we feel guilt.  We're letting down our family, ministers, educators and friends.  We're letting ourselves down. 

Part of it is God's design.  God has given us our sexuality as a good gift to be used for His glory.  He has imprinted on our spirit the importance of valuing others and loving one another. 

When we step outside of God's boundaries we feel guilt and shame. 


It's normal to feel bad when we do something wrong.  This guilt and shame are meant to push us toward God instead of away from Him.  Godly Shame moves us toward repentance and forgiveness. 

False Shame destroys instead of builds up.  We are devalued and convinced we are worthless.  False shame attacks God's good design for our lives. 


When we ask "What's wrong with me?" we're probably not asking "How do we get well?" or "What do we need to fix?"  We want to know why you are broken.

There's a difference between believing an area of your life is broken and believing you at your core are broken. 

"What's wrong with me?" marinates in at least three core issues:

#1:  I Hate Myself
We don't think we're normal.  We don't think others struggle like we do.  We think we're alone and it's hopeless.  We think something is broken inside us and we hate ourselves for it. 

#2:  I Blame God
We think it's God's fault that we are this way.  Why did God make me this way?  Why doesn't God take away my sexual desire?  Why did God allow this abuse or these experiences to happen?  We start to believe that God hates us or might be punishing us.

#3:  I Don't Believe I'm Loveable   
We feel others would judge us and reject us if they knew who we really are.  Not only do we hate ourselves, but we have convinced ourselves that others hate us too.  We believe we are so messed up that we are beyond God's ability to love.   

Deep down, we have believed many lies about ourselves.  We don't believe others will love us.  That may happen.  But God's love for us can never be changed. 

God doesn't treat us like we treat ourselves or like others treat us.  God loved us "even when were still sinners" (Romans 5:8).  God never devalues us or believes us to be broken.  When people say "God don't make no junk!" that's a very biblical message. 

Finding victory over our sexual struggles involves surrendering to the real God of the Bible and allowing His truth to break the lies you've believed about yourself. 

What lies have you believed about yourself?

Jeff Fisher is a blogger, podcaster, and minister.  He and his wife Marsha live in Raleigh, NC with their two children Caleb and Noah.  They run the website, a site designed to offer hope, encouragement, and resources to individuals and couples struggling with sexual sin.  His Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast is also available on I-Tunes. 


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Julie J: Porn Makes Me Fear Men 

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sexuality as a good gift, God's boundaries, Godly Shame