July 1, 2013
Just like most everything else, there's a healthy place for it to exist and an unhealthy place for it to exist.
Thanks for commenting, Cory. How do you help distinguish when it's healthy and when it's not healthy?
If I do something wrong, and feel shame for that action, then that's a healthy shame, as long as it drives me to stop doing that thing that's wrong. However, if I feel shame because of something that has happened to me, then the shame is probably unhealthy. I say "probably" because let's face it, I may choose to put myself in a situation where the environment is conducive to creating victims. In which case, I do have some of the responsibility for electing to place myself in that situation.
Someone I knew in grad school made a useful distinction that helps me with this issue between SHAME and GUILT. In her work, she found that shame drives people to withdraw or hide, guilt drives people to try to make things right. Guilt, therefore, is how I might name something you might call appropriate shame. Christians can be freed from shame because God's grace has redeemed us, but we still might feel guilty and ask for forgiveness when we do something wrong.
Wonderful, thank you.
Part of what makes this interesting is because in the materialist camp volition itself us under assault. http://www.npr.org/2011/05/31/136495499/incognito-whats-hiding-in-the-unconscious-mind
yet we are unable to live without morality and no one I meet is seriously in favor of doing so.
It's like saying "we mustn't have walls" but no one seriously wants to live outside without them.
The draw of shalom is powerful, even shalom as we imagine it. Our failure to achieve shalom has to be dealt with. There is no escaping loss in the age of decay, even if you call your shadowlands "Holland".
Good point on differentiating between shame and guilt, Bethany. On asking for forgiveness, though, I'd say that for a Christian to as God for forgiveness is like asking someone to pass the potatoes when they've already handed you the bowl. Our forgiveness in Christ is already complete according to Colossians 2:13-14 and 3:13, and covers all sins past, present and future. We can confess our sins of course, but the forgiveness has already been delivered.
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