The Well of Shame by Sheila Wise Rowe

This content is part of a series.

The Well of Shame (Part 2)
Series: Journey to the Well of Life
Sheila Wise Rowe
John 4:11-12

Jesus came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as He was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (John 4: 5-7, NIV). 

The Samaritan woman in the book of John is well acquainted with The Well of Shame. She was so weighed down by her sin and shame that she chooses to go to the well during the hottest part of day, so she will not be seen. She is avoiding the scornful glances and the whispers. Each and every day she partakes of the well of shame. This was her life, isolated from others and avoiding deep relationships for fear that others may discover or uncover her flaws and her sin. But one day Jesus meets her by the well and her life would never be the same. 

Although we say that we also want the water that Jesus offers somethings prevent us from receiving it. Two significant ones are the Masks that we wear and the Shame that we bear. When we were children, it was easier for most of us to believe that there was something wrong with us rather than admit that our parents were unable to fully love and care for us. Some of us still wear a mask and carry shame from these and other experiences such as abuse, trauma, neglect, rejection, racism, classism and/or gender bias. These experiences left us feeling like we are damaged or less than others and cause us to go into hiding. 


We receive messages that tell us to be strong, but there are many times that we do not feel strong or capable, so we wear a mask to keep up a facade. Like the woman at the well we fear that others will see behind the mask that there is a person who is insecure, lonely, sad, angry, feeling crazy or damaged and that they will reject us. The Holy Spirit brings us into all truth which includes the truth that behind the mask is one in need of a Savior. Jesus knows our story, just as He knew the story of the Samaritan woman. When we come to the Lord just as we are, vulnerable, fearful and in need, He meets us there and confronts the lies we believe about Him, ourselves and others. Jesus confronts the fact that we live a double life. That there is a big difference between who we are at home and who we are in public or who we are on the inside and how we look on the outside.  Slowly we begin to see the damaging effect of lashing out in anger or rage at ourselves or others when we feel exposed, diminished or shamed. We have even openly retaliated. Jesus wants to show us a better way. He will exchange the lies with the truth, and the truth that we are loved and forgiven transforms and heals that deep well of shame within. 


Shame is often confused wit ...

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