Discussion Questions: The Cycle of Shame

To further the conversation started by the weekend message, use these discussion questions in a group study or for personal reflection. Audio and video of the topic may be found here.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

1. Living with shame never allows us to feel the freedom of God’s grace or the healing power of His forgiveness.  In what ways do you hide so people won’t know the real you?

2. Do you equate what you do with who you are?

3. Do you see a difference in doing something bad and being a bad person?

4. Why do you feel that you have to wear masks?

5. How does wearing masks make knowing who God created you to be difficult?

“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.”  1 Corinthians 7:23

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand Pirm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Galatians 5:1

6. God does not want our past pain to become our present identity. How are you allowing past and current circumstances to define who you are instead of God’s word?

7. How do we change what is defining our identity?

8. How could staying confined in your “prison of shame” be considered selfish?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  2 Corinthians 5:17 

9. Identify who God says you are in some of the following verses:

  • John 1:12
  • Romans 8:1
  • Romans 5:1
  • Colossians 1:13‐14
  • Jeremiah 31:3
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16
  • Proverbs 3:32
  • John 15:6
  • Romans 8:17
  • 1 Corinthians 12:27
  • Ephesians 2:6
  • Romans 8:35
  • Romans 8:31
  • Colossians 3:12
  • 1 Peter 2:9‐10
  • 1 John 5:18
  • Ephesians 3:12
  • Colossians 1:13
  • 1 Corinthians 2:16
  • Colossians 2:10
  • Ephesians 1:5
  • Ephesians 2:18

10. Review the following five steps in becoming free from shame.

  1. Accepting that which cannot be changed
  2. Bringing your past or current situation out into the open
  3. Filling your life with the truth of who God says you are
  4. Asking for forgiveness, not just saying you are sorry
  5. Embracing the God can change your future

What is your next step in becoming free from shame?

Group Leaders can find discussion questions for additional topics here.