Every day, we choose what we believe about the world; our thoughts and behavior stem from what we believe is true about ourselves. When we find ourselves trapped in cycles of guilt or shame, Dr. Glenn Pickering says we should take a close look at the foundation of those feelings.

“This is actually the original sin. We have struggled with this issue from the absolute beginning: Are you going to believe God, who said You’re precious exactly as I created you? Or are you going to believe the serpent and believe there’s something wrong with you?”

Shame is a response as old as human history (Genesis 3), when the very first people on earth believed the same lie that traps us today.

 “The story of Adam and Eve in the garden, when everything is exactly as it should be, exactly as God created them, and then the serpent comes along and convinces Eve and Adam that actually there’s something wrong with them. They don’t even know the difference between good and evil for crying out loud!  Yet they believe there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. So they eat the apple and then they’re ashamed; they want to hide themselves.”

“The original sin is not that Adam and Eve ‘ate the apple'; the original sin is that they thought they needed to. They believed the lie that there is something wrong with them. Because they believed that lie, then they behaved in certain ways which created shame in their life.”

One telltale sign that we may be caught in shame cycle is if we’re constantly searching for approval from other people.

“The further we get from God’s truth that we’re precious as we are, and the more we embrace that shame-based lie that something’s wrong with us, the more we think we need approval.”

“But God said over and over in the Scriptures, No, you’re OK already. I don’t want you to earn my love, you already have that. I want you to start off with the assumption I already adore you, and then go tell everybody else.”

Dr. Pickering recommends two essential ways to combat the source of shame in our lives: Remind yourself daily of God’s truth, you are who He says you are, and learn to run toward Him with your sins, instead of running away to hide

 “We struggle with this– it is literally part of the human condition. A fundamental component of our Christian walk, if I’m really serious on that walk, means I’m getting better and better at living from the place where I know God already loves me; less and less from that place where I believe the lie that I am only lovable if I do everything right.”


Dr. Glenn Pickering is, at heart, a scientist and a teacher—a keen observer whose brilliant work with thousands of couples led him to the amazing discoveries that he wants to share with you. The TAG-related books and seminars that he and his wife, Gwen, have created contain the revolutionary insights, real-life examples, and concrete change strategies that have transformed people’s lives and that will help you to create the powerful, loving relationships you always wanted.

Combating the source of shame

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