Why is embarrassment such a powerful emotion?

It seems that people will spend their lives and fortunes to avoid being embarrassed.   People will go to great lengths to forget and avoid the feeling if they can.

People will lash out in anger if they are afraid of being shown as less than someone else and potentially embarrassed.

Here is one idea about why it is such a primal, powerful emotion:

It might have been the very first negative emotion experienced by Adam and Eve.

When they were first created they were in the Garden of Eden they had their perfect bodies and were living naked in an earthly paradise.

In that state of innocence and purity, remembering fully their identity as Children of  God, they had nothing to be ashamed of and enjoyed living there.

Along came Satan.

He tempted Adam and Eve to transgress and break God’s law.

When God was returning to check on Adam and  Eve, Satan planted that very first negative emotion on Adam and Eve.

Satan told  them they were naked and needed to hide from God.  In the likely confusion and panic of the moment Adam and Eve forgot that they were already naked before God.

Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness and hid.  They were embarrassed.

Embarrassment worked against  Adam and Eve and started the very beginning of a wedge driven between them and God.  Before that moment, Adam and Eve had no reason or desire to run away from God.

Now people are hiding from God all the time.  People are embarrassed to go to church because they have made bad choices.

People are embarrassed to be seen as “too good” or “churchy” and are afraid to make good decisions because of their perceived embarrassment.

Don’t be embarrassed.

Be bold, be strong, have the strength of your convictions.

Realize that you should not be ashamed of the good decisions you make.  Know that embarrassment is a negative emotion inspired by Satan to separate you from good things and living the way you should.

Jesus Christ is the great example of standing up to those who would shame Him and carried on His great work.

When the Savior was asked to come and heal Jairus’ daughter the Savior arrived after she died.  There were paid mourners making a lot of noise and Jesus told them that the girl was not dead, but asleep.  Then they “laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead”  (Luke 8:53).  Jesus told the rest of them to leave, took the parents of the girl in with Him and healed her immediately.

The Savior did not withhold blessings and did not yield to the pressure of embarrassment.

We can do the same thing and do the right thing even when it may seem embarrassing.

Comments Welcome