Friday, November 18, 2016

Guilt and Shame are Gone

It is popular in some circles to urge people with feelings of guilt and shame to be transparent. To come out and share their deepest feelings of fear and angst. To flaunt their weaknesses and behaviors despite what others think or feel. But, that does not work long term for many reasons.

1. First, because it focuses primarily on outer behavior not inner ideas. The inner state of the person is the key to external behavior.

2. If the reason we refuse to share openly is due to True Moral Guilt we can receive justice for our crimes or faults. Thus, we are ration to hide rather than share.

3. If the inner reason is Shame the reason to stay quiet can be equally valid. Since Shame arises from the perception that my honesty can result in rejection by my support group, it can be unwise to be completely honest.

Thus, the cause of my silence is important. Guilt and Shame are very different.

Western Theology tends to avoid the subject of Shame and emphasizes the reality of True Moral Guilt and its antidote: Forgiveness. This leaves Shame out of the picture so people often struggle with Shame but think it is Guilt so they confess over and over but the feelings remain.

In traditional theology we have no antidote theologically for Shame, but in the Bible there is so we use the Bible rather than tradition. The Bible is clear.

Through Jesus Christ we have an eternal home and identity in the Family of God. Shame has been erased by inclusion in a new group.

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