Don’t Let Feeling Ashamed Hold You Back From Love

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Everybody Always" by Bob Goff. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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How can feeling ashamed hold you back from loving others? How does God respond to your shame?

In Everybody, Always by Bob Goff, Goff says that feeling ashamed is normal but you shouldn’t let it hold you back. In order to become love, you must love yourself and others and not turn away from them. You never need to feel shame with God.

Continue on to learn what Bob Goff has to say about feeling ashamed.

Feeling Ashamed

When people try to control your life, shame is a significant ensuing consequence. You feel ashamed when you don’t live up to others’ expectations, and that shame becomes a massive wrench in your ability to love. 

Shame forces your words down and makes you turn away from people you love out of pride or embarrassment. You may fear their disappointment or wrath, so you run from them and lose the connection with them, maybe forever. You feel like you can’t communicate with that person anymore or that they no longer love you. 

You must not let shame keep you from people you love or from loving people. You must seek out those people and recreate your rhythm with them. Everyone desires forgiveness and acceptance, and they may also feel ashamed about what’s transpired between you. If you communicate with people you’re in a difficult place with, you can celebrate your reunion, rather than despair in your downfall. 

How to Avoid Shame

The easiest way to avoid shame is by living your life, not the life others set out for you. And the opposite is true. Don’t create a situation for someone else to feel shame because they don’t do what you tell them to or think they ought to do. Remember, becoming love means helping people find who they are, not controlling their behavior. This is how God loves and how He wants you to love in His name.

And you never need to feel shame with God. He shares His hopes with you and shows you how to fulfill them. He loves your heart, not your actions. If you feel disconnected from God or believe you have not lived up to His expectations, don’t run from God. Run toward Him and celebrate your union with Him. He will continue to guide you, even through your missteps, because He is love. And He does this so you will learn how to do the same for others. 

Don’t Let Feeling Ashamed Hold You Back From Love

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Bob Goff's "Everybody Always" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Everybody Always summary:

  • How to live your life like Jesus lived his
  • Why you need to open yourself up to God's love and give love to others
  • How to deepen your faith by focusing on love rather than showing that you "agree" with God

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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