Shame Lays In The Shadows
Shame waits. Watching. Looking for an opportunity; to pounce!
Shame, researcher Brene Brown explains, “is really easily understood as the fear of disconnection.” That “there [is] something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection.”
Shame tells us we will, and should, be rejected by others.
Brown goes on to explain that the “only people who don’t experience shame have no capacity for human empathy or connection…we all know that feeling: ‘I’m not blank enough. I’m not thin enough, rich enough, beautiful enough, smart enough, promoted enough.’ ” 1
Yesterday I wrote about Solomon, who seemed to have absolutely everything a human being could want. Yet it was Solomon’s unchecked pride & lust that contributed to his downfall.
Wise as Solomon was, without accountability to wise advisers he slid into a moral trap. An amazing man, Solomon became spiritually helpless. For “his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the Lord’s command.” 2
Solomon was not only wise, rich, famous and powerful, but God “appeared to him twice.” Solomon still fell.
There Is Hope
“Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to them...” 3
Shame reaches into our heart and minds to distract us from the life our Creator designed us to live.
But shame does not have to have the last word.
A few years ago, Ashley Mucha, a TreeHouse alum developed new perspective on those bad memories.
She prays. She confesses. She explains it to our Creator.
“Dear Father God,
Thank you for bringing that which was what I used to think was hell, into my life. When we were talking about our life stories, what we were into, and what our life would be like if it wasn’t for the things we used to do. And now look where You’ve put us God, to grow more and more each day.
I could never thank you enough God for all that You have done… Please just keep watching over us and help us through any challenges that we may run into.”
I told a teen, “When I go back to Chicago — a place where I made many decisions that I regretted — shame pops up. I have to decide how to deal with my screw-ups: denial and pretending that what I’ve done didn’t matter never really worked for me.”
The best way for me to fight back against shame is through prayer: “I’m sorry God that I _______. I wish I had done it differently. Please forgive me and help me to forgive myself. Please give me the strength to choose wisely. And, the courage to apologize to those I have hurt.”
This is mysilentscream: Shame does not have the last word!
1 – Listen to Brene Brown’s talk “The Power Of Vulnerability” on TED.com.
2 – 1 Kings 11:9-10, NLT
3 – Matthew 5:3-4, GWT