Chasing Down the Dragon Named Shame

(Romans 12:2  ESV)  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

In a previous post we introduced the subject of shame. We need to keep after it. Shame can keep a human being enslaved for a lifetime if it is not rooted out, seen for what it is, and conquered. Shame is like an interior parasite, unseen, yet sucking the life out of us. It manifests itself in a variety of symptoms, but as with any illness, we must treat the source and not just the symptom.

Here, I just want to record some of the more notable quotes I am coming across as I continue to read about shame. These come from the book Facing Shame: Families in Recovery, by Fossum and Mason:

Our definition of shame refers to humiliation so painful, embarrassment so deep, and a sense of being so completely diminished that one feels he or she will disappear into a pile of ashes. Shame involves the entire self and self worth of a human being.

Shame is an inner sense of being completely diminished or insufficient as a person. It is the self judging the self. A moment of shame may be humiliation so painful or an indignity so profound that one feels one has been robbed of her or his dignity or exposed as basically inadequate, bad, or worthy of rejection. A pervasive sense of shame is the ongoing premise that one is fundamentally bad, inadequate, defective, unworthy, or not fully valid as a human being.  [Emphasis original.]

We distinguish between the terms “guilt” and “shame.” Guilt is the developmentally more mature, though painful, feeling of regret one has about behavior that has violated a personal value. Guilt does not reflect directly upon one’s identity nor diminish one’s sense of personal worth. It emanates from an integrated conscience and set of values…. shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person…..

….The roots of shame are in abuse, personal violations, seductions and assaults where one’s sense of self has been trampled, one’s boundaries defiled.

….a shame-bound family is a family with a self-sustaining, multigenerational system of interaction with a cast of characters who are (or were in their lifetime) loyal to a set of rules and injunctions demanding control, perfectionism, blame and denial. The pattern inhibits or defeats the development of authentic intimate relationships, promotes secrets and vague personal boundaries, unconsciously instills shame in the family members, as well as chaos in their lives, and binds them to perpetuate the shame in themselves and their kin. It does so regardless of the good intentions, wishes, and love which may also be part of the system.  [Emphasis original.]

I will post more quotes like this as I continue reading. Christ, of course is the real Healer of shame. He has come that we might have abundant life, and of His sheep He says that He is not ashamed to own us as His own. Now we need to get hold of what that really means.

[March 28, 2023: Editors’ notes:

—For some comments made prior to March 28, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to March 28, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to March 28, 2023 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (March 28, 2023), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]


UPDATE Sept 2021: I have come to believe that Jeff Crippen does not practise what he preaches. He vilely persecuted an abuse victim and spiritually abused many other people in the Tillamook congregation. Go here to read the evidence. Jeff has not gone to the people that he spiritually and emotionally abused. He has not apologised to them, let alone asked for their forgiveness.

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