Friday, May 1, 2009

Guilt and Shame

I John 1
5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
I John 2
1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

My husband preached this passage on Sunday. I was in kid's church and I just finished listening to it today. It is so awesome that when we sin, Christ forgives us. I love how it says it in chapter two verse two; He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Atoning means to make amends or reparation(restoration to good condition), as for an offense or a crime, or for an offender.

When I ask God for forgiveness he restores me to a good condition, new again. He is truly great.

God has been showing me a few things about how I view myself. I was given this paper about Shame and Guilt; and on it are a few things I would like to share with you.

Guilt=I made a mistake (That is an action)
Shame=I am a mistake (That is a feeling)

Guilt- Painful feelings when behavior is different from a person's value system
Shame-Painful feelings when there is a difference between who I should be and who I really am. (Bigger the difference, Bigger the shame)

Person retains the ability to choose; they retain their right or belief they have a choice.
Behavior is judged; not personhood.
Internal judgment counts
Boundaries are clear
Forgiveness is available

No choices available and the person does not feel "safe" because their personhood not their behavior is at stake
Judges personal worth(the personal "I" of "me" is unworthy)
External judgments count, i.e. what others think is most important
Boundaries are vague
No forgiveness available (perfectionism)

There are three types of dysfunctional systems in which guilt and shame are most prominent:
Drug/ alcohol addiction
Abusive relationships
Religious rigidity

Rules of a shame based system
Do it right
Do it right every time
If you can't do it right, blame someone else.
If you can't do it right, it must be wrong.
If I do it wrong, I must be defective.
I must use my defenses to protect my defectiveness.
Rules are implicit and secret.
Rules are implied and oppressive; people are expected to live by them, but no one knows what they are.
Behavior counts, but personhood does not.

I have been living over in the shame side for far too long and God has been peeling back the layers of my heart. He is restoring me to that new condition. It is funny how we are so much harder on ourselves than God is. Don't get me wrong sin has no place in our lives; but if we do succumb to sin God's forgiveness is available for us.

I drew this picture in college to remind me of God's grace. God forgives me but for some reason I keep reminding Him of my shame.

My husband later in his sermon took a look at Paul. His life is a perfect example of one who could have let his shame keep him from doing the great things God called him to do. He persecuted Christians. He put them to death. Yet, in Christ great mercy and grace forgave Paul and used him to bring the Gospel to the world.
John invited Gladwin High School to sing a song they worked on. It is entitled the "Conversion of Saul". 30 students joined us from the high school and finished John's sermon. The beginning of the song is in Latin and its words mean hatred, condemnation, persecution. Then the song shifts into Paul's conversion half way thru and the mood is changes to that of repentance, grace and mercy. Here is another choir singing the song our church heard on Sunday. (Don't forget to pause the music on the side)

If God can forgive one who killed followers of Christ, then who am I that He can not forgive me. What joy there is in knowing that I can go to the very throne of God and there is Jesus atoning for my sin. He loves me and He so deeply loves you.

He has taken my shame and replaced it with grace!


1 comment:

  1. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound...

    How much more wonderful to be covered in His grace than to be clothed in our shame!


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