Shame is a painful sensation excited by a consciousness of guilt, or of having done something which injures reputation; or by of that which nature or modesty prompts you to conceal. Shame is particularly excited by the disclosure of actions which, in the view of men, are mean and degrading. Hence it it is often or always manifested by a downcast look or by blushes.Webster’s American Dictionary
  Shame is the painful emotion arising from the consciousness of something dishonoring, ridiculous, or indecorous in one’s own conduct or circumstances, or in those of others, whose honor or disgrace one regards as one’s own, or of being in a situation which offends one’s sense of modesty or decency: disgrace, ignominy, loss of esteem or reputation.–American Heritage Dictionary
  Shame results from dishonor, reproach, and degrades a person in the estimation of others. You feel shame as a result of betraying your own code of ethics or moral compass. Shame always reveals a buried soul taint.

Edna Lister on Shame

When you do the truth, you come to the Light unafraid and unashamed. You receive promotion, and reward because you are deserving of a reward, blameless, without blame, and not blaming.–Edna Lister, Wings on Your Feet, December 13, 1936

It is shameful to be found banding together against any of God’s children.–Edna Lister, February 18, 1941

To repent, wear sackcloth before the altar. In heaven, sackcloth is not an emblem of guilt or shame, but of full knowledge of law, a symbol of surrender to become the servant-instrument of all the Power, of the ability to sacrifice the last particle of self and so truly is a robe of glory. It means the intestinal fortitude really to dig down into the little self, face what you see and not say, “I don’t understand,” which reveals the part of self that you are digging out. The treadmill of the Wheel of Fate consists of this.–Edna Lister, November 1, 1944

It’s shameful that anything of the outer can cause you to descend.–Edna Lister, July 5, 1947

Those who jeer shall one day hang their heads in shame over every idle word they’ve spoken.–Edna Lister, December 1, 1947

It’s a shame that you do not hold fast to the Light all the time, but let yourself sink into old ditches.–Edna Lister, November 17, 1956

To "shed shame" is to say, "I don’t know a confounded thing," to acknowledge the Supreme God only, to follow the way of sacrifice and surrender. All shame comes from not obeying law.–Edna Lister, February 5, 1957

Someone who has been caught in the act of disobedience offers a shame repentance, which may only mean that they are embarrassed at having been found out, not a true repentance of what they were caught doing.–Edna Lister, Seeking Independence, October 20, 1957

"Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God."–Hebrews 12:1-2. Jesus is the author and finisher of your faith. When you become aware of your Source, you endure the cross, despising the shame. Of what are you ashamed? You endure the shame of your failure to follow, when you forget, the shame of fainting in your mind, of growing weary, despairing, or of ignoring your responsibility for lifting. "Despising the shame" means ignoring it and lifting.–Edna Lister, The Cross, June 23, 1963

"I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see."–Revelation 3:18. White raiment symbolizes purity of heart, mind and purpose. The shame of nakedness alludes to the desire body that exposes every desire, worthy and unworthy. Your hidden desires and selfish will always show through, exposing your lukewarmness, which just talks and thinks about surrendering self. So, put on the white raiment as a robe of purity to cover the transgressions of others, to cover their nakedness.–Edna Lister, Appreciation Is a Love Affair, May 16, 1965

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Treatments for Shame

When you feel guilty, go up, kneel before God and say, "Here I am, Father! Please cleanse all this guilt and shame, and make me Your strong one to release the Power for Your great work."–Edna Lister, December 30, 1957

You practice "shame repentance" when you are "found out" or "caught in the act." Shame is not real repentance, but says, "I won’t do it again," which is only mental repentance. Say, "I move up. I love You, God" to lift this fake repentance.–Edna Lister, December 25, 1957

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New Testament on Shame

I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear.–Revelation 3:18

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.–Hebrews 12:1-2

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The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools. –Proverbs 3:35

When pride comes, then comes shame.–Proverbs 11:2

Prophesy therefore concerning the land of Israel, and say unto the mountains, and to the hills, to the rivers, and to the valleys, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my fury, because ye have borne the shame of the heathen.–Ezekiel 36:6

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Shame in Other Sacred Writings

Observe opportunity, and beware of evil; be not ashamed when it concerns your soul, for there is a shame that brings sin, and a shame which is glory and grace.–Wisdom of Ben Sirach 4:20-21

Honor and shame is in talk, and your tongue is your fall.–Wisdom of Ben Sirach 5:13

The disposition of a liar is dishonorable, and his shame is ever with him.–Wisdom of Ben Sirach 20:26

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Edna Miriam Lister
The original Pioneering Mystic,
Christian Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of shame: Old English sceamu, sceomu, "feeling of guilt or disgrace."

Shame indicates the revelation of a soul taint.


Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.–Edmund Burke

Shame is the only grief without redress.–Pierre Corneille

Whate’ers begun in anger ends in shame.–Benjamin Franklin

The only shame is to have none.
–Blaise Pascal

Nothing is truly infamous, but what is wicked; and therefore, shame can never disturb an innocent and virtuous mind.–William Sherlock

I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed.–Jonathan Swift


American Heritage Dictionary, 5th ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016. ISBN 9780544454453.

Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France. The Harvard Classics. Volume 24, Part 3. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909-14, para. 102.

Corneille, Pierre. Polyeucte. The Harvard Classics. Volume 26, Part 2. Thomas Constable, trans. New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1909-14; line 326.

Franklin, Benjamin. Poor Richard’s Almanac, no. 468. Waterloo, Iowa: U.S.C. Publishing Co., 1914, p. 46.

Harper, Douglas. Online Etymology Dictionary, 2024.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

The Nag Hammadi Library. James M. Robinson, editor. San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1981.

The Oxford English Dictionary: Compact Ed. 2 volumes. Oxford University Press, 1971.

Pascal, Blaise. Pascal’s Pensées. New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1958, 194, p. 58; SBN 0-525-47018-2.

Sherlock, William. As quoted in Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. Charles Noel Douglas, comp. New York: Halcyon House, 1917, line 1.

Swift, Jonathan. Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies (1711-1726) The Jonathan Swift Archive [accessed March 3, 2017].

Webster, Noah. Webster’s American Dictionary. New York: S. Converse, 1828.

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