Most of us have been told, “You should be ashamed of yourself.” You may have heard this most often as a child and it was usually tied to improper behavior. However, there is a big difference between being ashamed of what we have done and being ashamed of who we are. For the purpose of our study we are going to use two words, guilt & shame and define them as follows:
Believing that we are worthless, that our lives don’t count to anyone – even ourselves is not how we were designed to live. I believe each and every one of us was made in the image of God and that by being here on this planet we have a purpose. Every one of us matters and we should not feel shame because of our heritage, race, past, identity, income, place of residence – or whatever.
Romans 8:1 tells us that there is no condemnation to those who belong to Christ Jesus. You are free and alive. You will make mistakes, you will do wrong and in those situations confession and forgiveness can be exchanged. But they should never bring shame concerning who you are. In Christ you are new, new, new! (2 Corinthians 5:17) You are not defined by the things you have done – good or bad. You should be identified by the fact that you are a fellow human being, part of the community of this world.
God has not only offered forgiveness -a life free of guilt, he offers a life free of shame. In Hebrews 6 we see that Jesus made it possible for us to come into the presence of God. In the ancient days this privilege was reserved only for the high priest. Today it is yours. No shame, just you and God in fellowship.
next week we’ll deal with some of the practical applications of this truth. For now let me close with some other resources – quotes, talks and songs that will reinforce this truth in your heart, soul and mind.
Quotes from Brene’ Brown
Based on my research and the research of other shame researchers, I believe that there is a profound difference between shame and guilt. I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort.
I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.
I don’t believe shame is helpful or productive. In fact, I think shame is much more likely to be the source of destructive, hurtful behavior than the solution or cure. I think the fear of disconnection can make us dangerous.
- Shame is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that we’re not good enough.
- Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
- If we can share our story with someone who responds with empathy and understanding, shame can’t survive.
- Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change.
https://view.vzaar.com/1203469/player?showplaybutton=rollover&brandText=Author%20Brene%20Brown%20on%20our%20inability%20to%20create%20space%20to%20hold%20pain%20in%20community.&border=none&hideFullScreen=false&socialSharing=0,0,0&autoplay=true&apiOn=true” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Brene’ Brown – Shame & Vulnerability