PDA

View Full Version : Shame



ravi4u2
Oct 6th 2007, 06:30 PM
Paul says that "we have renounced the hidden things of shame".

Shame is a fear-based internal state accompanied by feelings of being unworthy and unlovable. Shame conjures up brief, intense painful feelings of mortification due to being seen as inadequate. Shame feelings are a threat to the integrity of the self. It keeps us caught in fear of being found out by others. The perceived deficit is so humiliating that the person goes to great lengths to hide the flawed self. Guilt is the outward manifestation of the inward shame. Guilt is a feeling that we did something wrong. Guilt is usually tied to a specific behavior. Guilt says, "I did something bad. I must pay." We create guilt and shame in ourselves when we sin.

Guilt and shame can build up with repeated incidents of humiliation and lead to internal global beliefs of "I am unworthy. I don't deserve good things. I am unlovable." Turning this global shame over to something greater than oneself (like religion) can negate those global beliefs of unworthiness.

Religion with its list of 'how to make oneself worthy', can be a powerful tool in 'shame management'. But can mere rituals, and 'dos and don't dos', and keeping of ordinances, truly remove the feelings of shame?

Sold Out
Oct 8th 2007, 07:03 PM
But can mere rituals, and 'dos and don't dos', and keeping of ordinances, truly remove the feelings of shame?


No, they can't. Only by salvation and then understanding our position in Christ will rid us of the shame.

ravi4u2
Oct 8th 2007, 10:51 PM
No, they can't. Only by salvation and then understanding our position in Christ will rid us of the shame.And what is this position, may I ask?

amazzin
Oct 8th 2007, 10:53 PM
Paul says that "we have renounced the hidden things of shame".

Shame is a fear-based internal state accompanied by feelings of being unworthy and unlovable. Shame conjures up brief, intense painful feelings of mortification due to being seen as inadequate. Shame feelings are a threat to the integrity of the self. It keeps us caught in fear of being found out by others. The perceived deficit is so humiliating that the person goes to great lengths to hide the flawed self. Guilt is the outward manifestation of the inward shame. Guilt is a feeling that we did something wrong. Guilt is usually tied to a specific behavior. Guilt says, "I did something bad. I must pay." We create guilt and shame in ourselves when we sin.

Guilt and shame can build up with repeated incidents of humiliation and lead to internal global beliefs of "I am unworthy. I don't deserve good things. I am unlovable." Turning this global shame over to something greater than oneself (like religion) can negate those global beliefs of unworthiness.

Religion with its list of 'how to make oneself worthy', can be a powerful tool in 'shame management'. But can mere rituals, and 'dos and don't dos', and keeping of ordinances, truly remove the feelings of shame?


Christ took both our greif and shame to the cross and it paralyzing effect has no more power over us when we understand what He did for you and me

AlainaJ
Oct 8th 2007, 11:57 PM
Paul says that "we have renounced the hidden things of shame".

Shame is a fear-based internal state accompanied by feelings of being unworthy and unlovable. Shame conjures up brief, intense painful feelings of mortification due to being seen as inadequate. Shame feelings are a threat to the integrity of the self. It keeps us caught in fear of being found out by others. The perceived deficit is so humiliating that the person goes to great lengths to hide the flawed self. Guilt is the outward manifestation of the inward shame. Guilt is a feeling that we did something wrong. Guilt is usually tied to a specific behavior. Guilt says, "I did something bad. I must pay." We create guilt and shame in ourselves when we sin.

Guilt and shame can build up with repeated incidents of humiliation and lead to internal global beliefs of "I am unworthy. I don't deserve good things. I am unlovable." Turning this global shame over to something greater than oneself (like religion) can negate those global beliefs of unworthiness.

Religion with its list of 'how to make oneself worthy', can be a powerful tool in 'shame management'. But can mere rituals, and 'dos and don't dos', and keeping of ordinances, truly remove the feelings of shame?

Is not guilt and shame tactics of the enemy? The devil will tell us negative thoughts.:hmm:

My rightouness is through the blood of Jesus and that is it. The only thing that can remove any shame over past sisns is the Love of Jesus. Doing rituals are just that...rituals :)

amazzin
Oct 8th 2007, 11:59 PM
Is not guilt and shame tactics of the enemy? The devil will tell us negative thoughts.:hmm:

My rightouness is through the blood of Jesus and that is it. The only thing that can remove any shame over past sisns is the Love of Jesus. Doing rituals are just that...rituals :)


Totally off topic Alaina,.... ;)

Man your avatar bothers me. I wouldn't want to meet your pet in real-time :o

AlainaJ
Oct 9th 2007, 12:08 AM
Totally off topic Alaina,.... ;)

Man your avatar bothers me. I wouldn't want to meet your pet in real-time :o
Ok- what do you mean off topic?

Not to get you off topic:), the question was-
Religion with its list of 'how to make oneself worthy', can be a powerful tool in 'shame management'. But can mere rituals, and 'dos and don't dos', and keeping of ordinances, truly remove the feelings of shame?

To answer that question is to say...no. The keeping of rituals and do's or don'ts can not truly remove the feelings of shame.:)

it is Jesus that can do that- I can't see how it is off topic to suggest that such feelings are a tatic of the enemy....just like fear.

Oh- I am so sorry you don't love Kalishnakitty:cry::cry::cry::cry:
she really does love you:kiss:

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 04:36 AM
Christ took both our greif and shame to the cross and it paralyzing effect has no more power over us when we understand what He did for you and meThen why do many feel guilty if they don't go to church on Sunday?

amazzin
Oct 9th 2007, 05:41 AM
Then why do many feel guilty if they don't go to church on Sunday?

That my friend is the conviction of the Holy Spirit

Sold Out
Oct 9th 2007, 12:40 PM
And what is this position, may I ask?

Eternally forgiven of all sin - past, present & future sins.

Now don't get me wrong....if I sin, I feel bad about it. I confess it, forsake it, and move on.

But in the eternal sense...I am forgiven eternally. I know that my sin will never be counted against me in regards to eternal life.

Brother Mark
Oct 9th 2007, 04:51 PM
Then why do many feel guilty if they don't go to church on Sunday?

Isa 58:1-9

" Cry loudly, do not hold back;Raise your voice like a trumpet,And declare to My people their transgression And to the house of Jacob their sins. 2 "Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,As a nation that has done righteousness And has not forsaken the ordinance of their God.They ask Me for just decisions,They delight in the nearness of God. 3'Why have we fasted and You do not see?Why have we humbled ourselves and You do not notice?'Behold, on the day of your fast you find your desire, And drive hard all your workers. 4 "Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist.You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. 5 "Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself?Is it for bowing one's head like a reedAnd for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed?Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD? 6 "Is this not the fast which I choose,To loosen the bonds of wickedness,To undo the bands of the yoke,And to let the oppressed go freeAnd break every yoke? 7 "Is it not to divide your bread with the hungryAnd bring the homeless poor into the house;When you see the naked, to cover him;And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 "Then your light will break out like the dawn,And your recovery will speedily spring forth;And your righteousness will go before you;The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 "Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.'If you remove the yoke from your midst,The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness,
NASU

Perhaps it is because our churches sometimes see the people as workers and we drive them. Some feel guilty when they go and others feel guilty when they don't.

I look forward to the day when people tell me they missed me at church, not because they wanted me to attend church, but because they really missed my presence.

amazzin
Oct 9th 2007, 05:48 PM
Ok- what do you mean off topic?

Not to get you off topic:), the question was-
Religion with its list of 'how to make oneself worthy', can be a powerful tool in 'shame management'. But can mere rituals, and 'dos and don't dos', and keeping of ordinances, truly remove the feelings of shame?

To answer that question is to say...no. The keeping of rituals and do's or don'ts can not truly remove the feelings of shame.:)

it is Jesus that can do that- I can't see how it is off topic to suggest that such feelings are a tatic of the enemy....just like fear.

Oh- I am so sorry you don't love Kalishnakitty:cry::cry::cry::cry:
she really does love you:kiss:

LOL,...I meant my question to you about your avatar was off topic. Glad I wasn't shot!!!

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 05:56 PM
That my friend is the conviction of the Holy SpiritYou mean not going to church is sin and hence need the conviction of the HS?

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 06:00 PM
Isa 58:1-9

I look forward to the day when people tell me they missed me at church, not because they wanted me to attend church, but because they really missed my presence.If someone really missed me, they will find a way to pay me a visit or give me a call. They would not wait for me to go somewhere and express that they have 'missed' me. If someone say that they have missed me at church, it is quite a paradox.

amazzin
Oct 9th 2007, 06:02 PM
You mean not going to church is sin and hence need the conviction of the HS?

There is no sin in not going to church. But you and I are instructed not to forsake the assembling together with other believers. The Holy Spirit ensures that we feel the need to be in relationship with others to worship-pray and hear the gospel.

You are the church ravi, your are God's temple in with he resides. However, you need to share God's love with others and this is where the holy spirit desires all of us to be

Brother Mark
Oct 9th 2007, 06:05 PM
If someone really missed me, they will find a way to pay me a visit or give me a call. They would not wait for me to go somewhere and express that they have 'missed' me. If someone say that they have missed me at church, it is quite a paradox.

Perhaps. But given our busy society, an "I missed you" at church would be welcomed if it came without the "why weren't you at church" implications.

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 06:07 PM
Eternally forgiven of all sin - past, present & future sins.

Now don't get me wrong....if I sin, I feel bad about it. I confess it, forsake it, and move on.

But in the eternal sense...I am forgiven eternally. I know that my sin will never be counted against me in regards to eternal life.what would you consider sin? is it sin when it is outwardly manifested or is it sin when it is inwardly entertained? For example, would you consider it sin, if I do not tithe because what I have is just enough to put bread on the table for my family?

AlainaJ
Oct 9th 2007, 06:08 PM
There is no sin in not going to church. But you and I are instructed not to forsake the assembling together with other believers. The Holy Spirit ensures that we feel the need to be in relationship with others to worship-pray and hear the gospel.

You are the church ravi, your are God's temple in with he resides. However, you need to share God's love with others and this is where the holy spirit desires all of us to be
Excellent point........the Church is the body of Christ- We assemble with other local beleivers, but the true Church is all those whose names are in the book of life.

Eph.5 (http://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/k/kjv/kjv-idx?type=DIV2&byte=5194157)


[23] For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
[24] Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
[25] Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
[27] That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
[29] For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
[32] This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.We are also as an individual the temple of God and God dwells in our hearts. If you feel conviction, the Holy Spirit may be speaking to you...
Praise God:pp:pp

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 06:09 PM
Perhaps. But given our busy society, an "I missed you" at church would be welcomed if it came without the "why weren't you at church" implications.Even the excuse of 'busy society' is quite contrary to how our Master has asked us to live isn't it? We always make time for our family. If indeed the body is a family then...

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 06:12 PM
There is no sin in not going to church. But you and I are instructed not to forsake the assembling together with other believers. The Holy Spirit ensures that we feel the need to be in relationship with others to worship-pray and hear the gospel.

You are the church ravi, your are God's temple in with he resides. However, you need to share God's love with others and this is where the holy spirit desires all of us to bedo you need to go somewhere to 'assemble together'? Is it still assembling together if I get together with the people of God over let's say coffee, even if I don't have the 'praise and worship' service?

Brother Mark
Oct 9th 2007, 06:13 PM
Even the excuse of 'busy society' is quite contrary to how our Master has asked us to live isn't it? We always make time for our family. If indeed the body is a family then...

True enough. But now, where might the guilt be coming from? Shame comes from placing expectations on ourselves and others. ;)

I am quite pleased to know that my presence was actually missed. I am not pleased for others to try and manipulate my attendance.

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 06:15 PM
If you feel conviction, the Holy Spirit may be speaking to you...
Could it be the conditioning of religion that we feel is shame instead of real conviction of the HS?

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 06:18 PM
True enough. But now, where might the guilt be coming from? Shame comes from placing expectations on ourselves and others. ;)

I am quite pleased to know that my presence was actually missed. I am not pleased for others to try and manipulate my attendance.it is one thing when my presence is 'missed' somewhere but quite another is my attendance was missed. true we should never place any expectation on others for 'missing' us. But, what I was trying to get at is that a family expresses 'missing you' in so many tangible ways...

Sold Out
Oct 9th 2007, 06:20 PM
[quote=ravi4u2;1405673] is it sin when it is outwardly manifested or is it sin when it is inwardly entertained?

Both




For example, would you consider it sin, if I do not tithe because what I have is just enough to put bread on the table for my family?


Not going to get into a discussion with you about tithing...proverbial 'can of worms'.

Brother Mark
Oct 9th 2007, 06:23 PM
it is one thing when my presence is 'missed' somewhere but quite another is my attendance was missed. true we should never place any expectation on others for 'missing' us. But, what I was trying to get at is that a family expresses 'missing you' in so many tangible ways...

I think we are in much agreement on this thread.

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 06:24 PM
[quote]

Both

Not going to get into a discussion with you about tithing...proverbial 'can of worms'.what about 'not using your talents to glorify God', is that sin?

Teke
Oct 9th 2007, 06:28 PM
Paul says that "we have renounced the hidden things of shame".

Shame is a fear-based internal state accompanied by feelings of being unworthy and unlovable. Shame conjures up brief, intense painful feelings of mortification due to being seen as inadequate. Shame feelings are a threat to the integrity of the self. It keeps us caught in fear of being found out by others. The perceived deficit is so humiliating that the person goes to great lengths to hide the flawed self. Guilt is the outward manifestation of the inward shame. Guilt is a feeling that we did something wrong. Guilt is usually tied to a specific behavior. Guilt says, "I did something bad. I must pay." We create guilt and shame in ourselves when we sin.

Guilt and shame can build up with repeated incidents of humiliation and lead to internal global beliefs of "I am unworthy. I don't deserve good things. I am unlovable." Turning this global shame over to something greater than oneself (like religion) can negate those global beliefs of unworthiness.

Religion with its list of 'how to make oneself worthy', can be a powerful tool in 'shame management'. But can mere rituals, and 'dos and don't dos', and keeping of ordinances, truly remove the feelings of shame?


What scripture are you referring to?

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 06:30 PM
What scripture are you referring to?2 Corinthians 4.

Teke
Oct 9th 2007, 06:45 PM
2 Corinthians 4.

What verse in chapter 4 are you quoting from?

Sold Out
Oct 9th 2007, 06:52 PM
[quote=Sold Out;1405697]what about 'not using your talents to glorify God', is that sin?


"....for whatsoever is not of faith is sin." Romans 14:23

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17

Only by your knowledge of the scriptures can you be sure that what you are doing (or not doing) is indeed a sin.

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 07:54 PM
What verse in chapter 4 are you quoting from?1 Corinthians 4 and verse 2

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 07:58 PM
[quote=ravi4u2;1405702]
Only by your knowledge of the scriptures can you be sure that what you are doing (or not doing) is indeed a sin.So, are you saying that we determine what is sin by arbitrarily applying the scripture to any given situation?

Teke
Oct 9th 2007, 08:12 PM
1 Corinthians 4 and verse 2


1Cr 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.


I don't understand that with your OP on "shame".:confused



Shame
Paul says that "we have renounced the hidden things of shame".

Shame is a fear-based internal state accompanied by feelings of being unworthy and unlovable. Shame conjures up brief, intense painful feelings of mortification due to being seen as inadequate. Shame feelings are a threat to the integrity of the self. It keeps us caught in fear of being found out by others. The perceived deficit is so humiliating that the person goes to great lengths to hide the flawed self. Guilt is the outward manifestation of the inward shame. Guilt is a feeling that we did something wrong. Guilt is usually tied to a specific behavior. Guilt says, "I did something bad. I must pay." We create guilt and shame in ourselves when we sin.

Guilt and shame can build up with repeated incidents of humiliation and lead to internal global beliefs of "I am unworthy. I don't deserve good things. I am unlovable." Turning this global shame over to something greater than oneself (like religion) can negate those global beliefs of unworthiness.

Religion with its list of 'how to make oneself worthy', can be a powerful tool in 'shame management'. But can mere rituals, and 'dos and don't dos', and keeping of ordinances, truly remove the feelings of shame?

Sold Out
Oct 9th 2007, 08:35 PM
[quote=Sold Out;1405735]So, are you saying that we determine what is sin by arbitrarily applying the scripture to any given situation?


"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." Romans 7:7

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 09:05 PM
I don't understand that with your OP on "shame".:confusedErrr...Sorry typo...2 Corinthians 4 verse 2

ravi4u2
Oct 9th 2007, 09:06 PM
[quote=ravi4u2;1405817]


"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet." Romans 7:7

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." Romans 3:20Are we under the law?

Scruffy Kid
Oct 9th 2007, 09:41 PM
Dear Ravi4u2,
Thanks for posting your thoughts about feelings of guilt and shame.
There are useful and important concerns you are raising.
But there are other respects in which I am concerned about the way that this thread discusses ideas of guilt and shame.


About dangers and fears

In English, we have a word "danger", which indicates hazards (threats) to existence or well-being. Also, we have a word "fear" which indicates a reaction that one would normally have to hazardous, dangerous, things-- a reaction which includes inner feelings or emotions, but which also, in many cases, includes sensitive cognition of the reality of the menacing, or hazardous thing, the danger, which gives rise to fear.

Certainly, it is possible to have false fear -- and in two senses. (1) One may be fearful, or anxious, when in fact there is no substantial danger. Thus, I tend to be afraid of hieghts: when I am in a high place, even if in no danger of falling, I feel panicky, and experience vertigo and similar things. (2) One may also be fearful of something which does indeed pose a genuine threat to one, but one's fear is not proportioned to the badness of the threat. Thus, I may be afraid of being criticized by friends of mine (in a situation where it is likely that they will criticize me, and I won't enjoy that at all), where I am not afraid of displeasing God, or people whose judgment against me is just and very much more painful than that of the criticism of my friends. My fear of being scorned by my friends -- a realistic fear -- then leads me to do things that are much more harmful to me, and which I ought to fear far more.

But it would be completely unwise, IMO, for me to think thus about fear, in general. "Fear is simply an unpleasant internal state, which can build up due to past unpleasant experiences, and which one should get rid of through various kinds of consolation, therapy, or religious activity." Why do I think it would be unwise for me to think about fear, in general, in this way. Because there are things which are genuine hazards; and if I do not fear these hazards, in the sense of avoiding them scrupulously, I may perish, or be seriously injured.

True, I have various false fears -- and also generalized anxieties and fearfulness. It is one of my personal faults, and badnesses of character, and a source of problems to me. So I should try not to be unrealistically fearful, and to have my apprehension of hazards properly proportioned to reality, in general. First I should fear God, and fear to do wrong; and secondarily I should fear serious ills that may harm my life and those of others I could help. I want to be rid of unrealistic or overblown fear, and it is a problem for me. But the solution is not to depict all fear as being some sort of mistaken inner reaction, or thing that I should quickly rid myself of. Fear plays a useful, and truthful, role, in alerting me to things which I would be a fool not to fear.


About degrading things and shame, and feelings of shame,
Transgressions, culpability, and guilt, and guilt-feelings

Certainly, ravi4u2 is correct that people can experience feelings of guilt and shame that are undesirable, unrealistic, outdated (no longer applicable), and debilitiating. This can be a problem for many people.

As with fear, experiences or feelings of shame or guilt might be "false shame", or "false guilt" in at least two different senses. (1) Just as one might feel afraid of something which is not, actually, dangerous, one might feel ashamed of something that is not actually shameful, or guilty about something that is not actually a transgression or sin, something for which one was not, actually, culpable. When parents divorce, it is not uncommon for kids -- especially through early teen years -- to feel guilty, falsely thinking that they have in some way caused their parents divorce. There's just nothing to feel guilty about -- sad, yes, guilty no -- because the kid just was not in any way responsible for the divorce. Again, a teenage boy who starts waking up in the morning with erections may feel quite ashamed. But unneccessarily: there's nothing shameful about it. Embarassed, if someone else is around, sure. But not ashamed. (2) One might feel shame or guilt which -- though it does correspond to something slightly degraded or some culpability which one rightly bears -- is exagerated; while one does not feel ashamed, or gulity, of something else one has done (or which one is) which is far worse.

Problems of false-guilt (that is, feelings of guilt out of proportion to actual culpability, and of false-shame (excessive feelings of shame, not proportioned to actually disgraceful things about oneself) can be signficant problems.

However, all of us, by virtue of our sinful and broken nature also have some shameful characteristics and have done some disgraceful things; and all of us have transgressed, done wrong things, for which we are genuinely culpable -- culpable ("guilty") whether we feel guilty or not. On account of these things we are called to repent, and mourn; but also we are given the opportunity to fly to Jesus, to the cross, for refuge for the badness within us.


How should we talk about guilt and shame?

We may speak of "fears" meaning either our internal reactions to danger, or of the dangers themselves. When the Psalmist says "I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears" the primary meaning, I think, is not that he got rid of my feelings of fear, but that he delivered me from the dangers of which was, rearsonably, afraid as long as those threats were looming. But we do have words which clearly do not refer to internal reactions -- words like "danger" or "hazard" (and some meanings of the word "threat") -- but to objective, or actual, menaces which we need to know about, and avoid.

We don't have quite as good a vocabulary for dealing with culpability or with things that are degrading.

Yet evidently, we are guilty of various crimes or sins whether or not we feel guilty. There is a genuine onus, or burden, of responsibility, and of unpaid and in a sense unpayable guilt whether we acknowledge it or not. If a person does not acknowledge the responsibility he has, or the burden of having-done-wrong that actually attaches to him, that person has a false, a hardened, conscience. In modern vocabulary the word "guilt" comes to mean almost exclusively the feelings of guilt, people have; but this is a very bad linguistic development. Bad because it works in the direction of people not acknowledging their moral responsibility; and in the direction of people thinking that they ought to be able to do as they please (even when those things are, in fact, wrong) without being accountable for it.

Again, there are things we do -- and even things about us -- which are genuinely morally repulsive, ugly, disgusting or degraded. This certainly includes degraded things we do; but may also include things we simply find to be true of ourselves, without much voluntary action. If we mock a handicapped person, deliberately harm an innocent child, in cowardice leave a comrad to die when, at mild risk we might have rescued him, or desire incestuous sexual contact these things are genuine flaws, uglinesses of the soul. But we don't have a vocabulary that readily distinguises the genuine degradation of our act or person, the shamefulness of shameful conduct, for instance, from feelings of being ashamed, which may or may not correspond to actual degradation.

Again, the confusion in vocabulary is a problem, for it can cause us to speak as if the only, or main, problem people have is that of feeling shame when we should not. But most cultures, and the Bible, think that there are things we ought to feel ashamed about, because they are genuinely shameful. If we do not feel ashamed of that which is actually reprehensible, we are in a terrible condition, with consciences which have been deeply marred or distorted. Thus, Paul speaks of those who through repeated wrongdoing "have consciences seared, as with a hot iron"; and those, almost past helping, who "glory in their shame" -- that is who react to things they do which are degraded, and which therefore should make them ashamed -- with pride and exaltation in their disgusting behavior. Thus, one missionary found, to his horror, a tribe of Indians who, hearing the gospel story, applauded and admired Judas for betraying Christ.

Thus, while acknowledging that there can be serious problems with false-guilt-feelings or false-shame, I cannot agree with the way of speaking which defines shame as a "fear-based internal state accompanied by feelings of being unworthy and unlovable." In my view, this risks confusing "shame" in the sense of what is actually shameful, of which we should be ashamed, with "shame" in the sense of feelings of being ashamed which may or may not be warranted, and probably are not. When Paul says that we have renounced underhanded and disgraceful ways, he is not saying that feeling shame is something that is wrong and which we have put behind us.

Similarly, I do not thing the word "guilt" should be defined to refer only to feelings of guilt -- and ones that probably are irrational at that. We need to have a lively sense of the burden of our transgressions; and our culture all around is saying to us -- falsely -- that we are not guilty for doing lots of things which the bible tells us (and which even common sense tells us) are, objectively, wrong.

Buying into this kind of language often risks, in my opinion, a kind of feel-good mentality which seeks to anaesthetize us from any acute moral feelings, any painful promptings of conscience.


Summary

Certainly, there can be problems of false-guilt and false-shame.
And certainly we need to find in Christ our refuge from our actual, wrongful, sin and shame.

Yet we also need, I think, a far greater sensitivity to right and wrong, and a strong sense of the holiness of God, and of our culpability for the wrongness of our lives.

It is when we come from that kind of knowledge, that we are enabled to be healed and washed by God through the forgiveness that is ours in Christ Jesus who died for us. Unless we understand our true guilt and shame, and mourn for these, coming humbly and in sorrow to Christ our Savior, we are drifting, in my opinion, into a more and more perilous spiritual state.

In friendship,
Scruffy Kid

ravi4u2
Oct 10th 2007, 03:59 AM
Dear Ravi4u2,
Thanks for posting your thoughts about feelings of guilt and shame.
There are useful and important concerns you are raising.
But there are other respects in which I am concerned about the way that this thread discusses ideas of guilt and shame.


About dangers and fears


In English, we have a word "danger", which indicates hazards (threats) to existence or well-being. Also, we have a word "fear" which indicates a reaction that one would normally have to hazardous, dangerous, things-- a reaction which includes inner feelings or emotions, but which also, in many cases, includes sensitive cognition of the reality of the menacing, or hazardous thing, the danger, which gives rise to fear.

Certainly, it is possible to have false fear -- and in two senses. (1) One may be fearful, or anxious, when in fact there is no substantial danger. Thus, I tend to be afraid of hieghts: when I am in a high place, even if in no danger of falling, I feel panicky, and experience vertigo and similar things. (2) One may also be fearful of something which does indeed pose a genuine threat to one, but one's fear is not proportioned to the badness of the threat. Thus, I may be afraid of being criticized by friends of mine (in a situation where it is likely that they will criticize me, and I won't enjoy that at all), where I am not afraid of displeasing God, or people whose judgment against me is just and very much more painful than that of the criticism of my friends. My fear of being scorned by my friends -- a realistic fear -- then leads me to do things that are much more harmful to me, and which I ought to fear far more.

But it would be completely unwise, IMO, for me to think thus about fear, in general. "Fear is simply an unpleasant internal state, which can build up due to past unpleasant experiences, and which one should get rid of through various kinds of consolation, therapy, or religious activity." Why do I think it would be unwise for me to think about fear, in general, in this way. Because there are things which are genuine hazards; and if I do not fear these hazards, in the sense of avoiding them scrupulously, I may perish, or be seriously injured.

True, I have various false fears -- and also generalized anxieties and fearfulness. It is one of my personal faults, and badnesses of character, and a source of problems to me. So I should try not to be unrealistically fearful, and to have my apprehension of hazards properly proportioned to reality, in general. First I should fear God, and fear to do wrong; and secondarily I should fear serious ills that may harm my life and those of others I could help. I want to be rid of unrealistic or overblown fear, and it is a problem for me. But the solution is not to depict all fear as being some sort of mistaken inner reaction, or thing that I should quickly rid myself of. Fear plays a useful, and truthful, role, in alerting me to things which I would be a fool not to fear.


About degrading things and shame, and feelings of shame,
Transgressions, culpability, and guilt, and guilt-feelings


Certainly, ravi4u2 is correct that people can experience feelings of guilt and shame that are undesirable, unrealistic, outdated (no longer applicable), and debilitiating. This can be a problem for many people.

As with fear, experiences or feelings of shame or guilt might be "false shame", or "false guilt" in at least two different senses. (1) Just as one might feel afraid of something which is not, actually, dangerous, one might feel ashamed of something that is not actually shameful, or guilty about something that is not actually a transgression or sin, something for which one was not, actually, culpable. When parents divorce, it is not uncommon for kids -- especially through early teen years -- to feel guilty, falsely thinking that they have in some way caused their parents divorce. There's just nothing to feel guilty about -- sad, yes, guilty no -- because the kid just was not in any way responsible for the divorce. Again, a teenage boy who starts waking up in the morning with erections may feel quite ashamed. But unneccessarily: there's nothing shameful about it. Embarassed, if someone else is around, sure. But not ashamed. (2) One might feel shame or guilt which -- though it does correspond to something slightly degraded or some culpability which one rightly bears -- is exagerated; while one does not feel ashamed, or gulity, of something else one has done (or which one is) which is far worse.

Problems of false-guilt (that is, feelings of guilt out of proportion to actual culpability, and of false-shame (excessive feelings of shame, not proportioned to actually disgraceful things about oneself) can be signficant problems.

However, all of us, by virtue of our sinful and broken nature also have some shameful characteristics and have done some disgraceful things; and all of us have transgressed, done wrong things, for which we are genuinely culpable -- culpable ("guilty") whether we feel guilty or not. On account of these things we are called to repent, and mourn; but also we are given the opportunity to fly to Jesus, to the cross, for refuge for the badness within us.


How should we talk about guilt and shame?


We may speak of "fears" meaning either our internal reactions to danger, or of the dangers themselves. When the Psalmist says "I sought the Lord and He heard me and delivered me from all my fears" the primary meaning, I think, is not that he got rid of my feelings of fear, but that he delivered me from the dangers of which was, rearsonably, afraid as long as those threats were looming. But we do have words which clearly do not refer to internal reactions -- words like "danger" or "hazard" (and some meanings of the word "threat") -- but to objective, or actual, menaces which we need to know about, and avoid.

We don't have quite as good a vocabulary for dealing with culpability or with things that are degrading.

Yet evidently, we are guilty of various crimes or sins whether or not we feel guilty. There is a genuine onus, or burden, of responsibility, and of unpaid and in a sense unpayable guilt whether we acknowledge it or not. If a person does not acknowledge the responsibility he has, or the burden of having-done-wrong that actually attaches to him, that person has a false, a hardened, conscience. In modern vocabulary the word "guilt" comes to mean almost exclusively the feelings of guilt, people have; but this is a very bad linguistic development. Bad because it works in the direction of people not acknowledging their moral responsibility; and in the direction of people thinking that they ought to be able to do as they please (even when those things are, in fact, wrong) without being accountable for it.

Again, there are things we do -- and even things about us -- which are genuinely morally repulsive, ugly, disgusting or degraded. This certainly includes degraded things we do; but may also include things we simply find to be true of ourselves, without much voluntary action. If we mock a handicapped person, deliberately harm an innocent child, in cowardice leave a comrad to die when, at mild risk we might have rescued him, or desire incestuous sexual contact these things are genuine flaws, uglinesses of the soul. But we don't have a vocabulary that readily distinguises the genuine degradation of our act or person, the shamefulness of shameful conduct, for instance, from feelings of being ashamed, which may or may not correspond to actual degradation.

Again, the confusion in vocabulary is a problem, for it can cause us to speak as if the only, or main, problem people have is that of feeling shame when we should not. But most cultures, and the Bible, think that there are things we ought to feel ashamed about, because they are genuinely shameful. If we do not feel ashamed of that which is actually reprehensible, we are in a terrible condition, with consciences which have been deeply marred or distorted. Thus, Paul speaks of those who through repeated wrongdoing "have consciences seared, as with a hot iron"; and those, almost past helping, who "glory in their shame" -- that is who react to things they do which are degraded, and which therefore should make them ashamed -- with pride and exaltation in their disgusting behavior. Thus, one missionary found, to his horror, a tribe of Indians who, hearing the gospel story, applauded and admired Judas for betraying Christ.

Thus, while acknowledging that there can be serious problems with false-guilt-feelings or false-shame, I cannot agree with the way of speaking which defines shame as a "fear-based internal state accompanied by feelings of being unworthy and unlovable." In my view, this risks confusing "shame" in the sense of what is actually shameful, of which we should be ashamed, with "shame" in the sense of feelings of being ashamed which may or may not be warranted, and probably are not. When Paul says that we have renounced underhanded and disgraceful ways, he is not saying that feeling shame is something that is wrong and which we have put behind us.

Similarly, I do not thing the word "guilt" should be defined to refer only to feelings of guilt -- and ones that probably are irrational at that. We need to have a lively sense of the burden of our transgressions; and our culture all around is saying to us -- falsely -- that we are not guilty for doing lots of things which the bible tells us (and which even common sense tells us) are, objectively, wrong.

Buying into this kind of language often risks, in my opinion, a kind of feel-good mentality which seeks to anaesthetize us from any acute moral feelings, any painful promptings of conscience.


Summary


Certainly, there can be problems of false-guilt and false-shame.
And certainly we need to find in Christ our refuge from our actual, wrongful, sin and shame.

Yet we also need, I think, a far greater sensitivity to right and wrong, and a strong sense of the holiness of God, and of our culpability for the wrongness of our lives.

It is when we come from that kind of knowledge, that we are enabled to be healed and washed by God through the forgiveness that is ours in Christ Jesus who died for us. Unless we understand our true guilt and shame, and mourn for these, coming humbly and in sorrow to Christ our Savior, we are drifting, in my opinion, into a more and more perilous spiritual state.

In friendship,
Scruffy KidI appreciate your thoughts here. If anyone says that he has not sinned, he is a liar. But the answer for our sin is not regret but repentance. And when we repent, there is no room for shame. And where there is no 'shame', there is no guilt. Just like the sinner whom Jesus had forgiven, who had come to the house of Simon to anoint Jesus with an alabaster flask of fragrant oil. The host of the house tried to impose 'shame' on her. But this lady, she had no more feelings of shame. her shame was completely taken away. She was now free. Because of this act of freedom, "wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

Sold Out
Oct 10th 2007, 12:56 PM
[quote=Sold Out;1405853]Are we under the law?


We are condemned by it, not under it.

"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Galatians 3:23-25

Scruffy Kid
Oct 10th 2007, 02:11 PM
And I also appreciate your contributions.

I appreciate your thoughts here. If anyone says that he has not sinned, he is a liar. But the answer for our sin is not regret but repentance. I heartily agree.

And when we repent, there is no room for shame. And where there is no 'shame', there is no guilt. But I think this is not the whole story. When we repent, that does not mean that we cease to feel sorrow for what we did, IMO. Jesus says "Blessed are those who mourn" -- meaning, I think, preëminently, those who grieve over sin: their own sin, first, and then the broken and sinful character of the whole world, of our fallen human family. Jesus in Gethsemane, anticipating his crucifixion -- his bearing the sin of the world -- is sorrowful unto death. Jesus fasts and prays in the wilderness. These are models for us: we are, Christ tells us, if we wish to be his disciples, supposed to "deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow him." The woman who wept at Jesus feet did not suddenly realize her sin and God's grace and then start laughing. She wept, knowing how she had lived, and how Jesus nonetheless loved her.

Further, my own awareness of the wrongness of my deeds, and of the ugliness of what I am and what I have done, is not something I can grasp all at once -- just as I cannot grasp fully the beauty of nature, or the love of God. I grow in my awareness of all these things. When I have been hurt, I sometimes don't know how deeply; and I need to realize, later, more fully what my reaction is; similarly, I may forgive someone, yet later realize that I need to forgive more deeply. And I may realize how I have hurt another, yet not realize it fully; later I may need to make further reparation, or acknowledgment, or at least more fully within myself recognize with sorrow what I have done. And so similarly, the shamefulness of what I have done or become, and the burden -- the responsibility, harm, and culpabililty -- of the wrong I've done is something I may need to work with, and sorrow for, lifelong. Just as, lifelong, I may joy in good things I've done, or that have been done for me, and in God's love and transformative mercy in my life.

Of course, there's good sorrow and bad sorrow. We are not supposed to bite ourselves, loath ourselves, or hate ourselves; but standing free in Christ we may yet recognize our sins -- their wrongfulness and degradation -- and, comforted by God, mourn them. Christ, the "man of sorrows" transforms out sorrows. We are not to live under the accusation of the enemy ("the accuser of the brethren"), or indulge in self-condemnation or self-loathing. We are to love those whom Christ loves: both others, and ourselves. But sorrow is not, in itself, something that is wrong; and sorrow for sin -- sorrowful awareness of the wickedness (culpability, objective guilt) of what we've done, and of the ugliness or degraded character (shamefulness) of what we've done -- (which must always be held in the joyful light of God's love and restoration and acceptance of those who flee to him for help and pardon) is simply awareness of reality, and an appropriate response to that reality, it seems to me. Thus Jesus commends this sorrow, saying "blessed are they who mourn." Our comfort comes through our mourning. So, it seems to me, Christ teaches us.


Just like the sinner whom Jesus had forgiven, who had come to the house of Simon to anoint Jesus with an alabaster flask of fragrant oil. The host of the house tried to impose 'shame' on her. But this lady, she had no more feelings of shame. her shame was completely taken away. She was now free. Because of this act of freedom, "wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Well, I simply disagree with this reading of the text. The host is not much concerned with the woman at all: his disapproval is of Jesus. He is not trying to "impose shame" on her; he presupposes that what she's done is wrong, and shameful -- and he's right -- and is critical of Christ's acceptance-of-her-despite-her-shame. It is her repentence, and her faith in Jesus and love for Jesus that Jesus praises, not her "freedom from shame", which is a secondary consequence, and not the main point. If she were "free from shame" in the sense of not recognizing the shameful nature of things she had done, what'd be the point of her tears?

More broadly, I think the "psychologizing" of this incident -- reading in it something like a-person's-becoming-free-from-(feelings-of)-shame (a subjective, psychological emphasis) as central, rather than Christ-forgiving, seems to me importing contemporary concerns about our how important our feelings are into a narrative that which has quite different concerns.

I'm not eager to do that for two reasons: (1) because I think it is a misreading (an anachronistic misreading) of the text; and (2) because I fear it re-inforces wrong (non-biblical, and potentially anti-biblical) thinking which makes "my feelings" the important thing, rather than my actual relation to a holy and righteous God, and to God's law (God's statement of what is, objectively, good and bad, right and wrong, noble or ignoble) before which I actually stand guilty.

To argue what I just argued is not, IMO, to downplay the greatness of the redemption we have in Christ, and the glorious liberty of the children of God, and our joy in our redemption -- washed and pure through the blood of the lamb -- but rather to magnify and praise what God has done.

ravi4u2
Oct 10th 2007, 03:44 PM
And I also appreciate your contributions.
I heartily agree.
But I think this is not the whole story. When we repent, that does not mean that we cease to feel sorrow for what we did, IMO. Jesus says "Blessed are those who mourn" -- meaning, I think, preëminently, those who grieve over sin: their own sin, first, and then the broken and sinful character of the whole world, of our fallen human family. Jesus in Gethsemane, anticipating his crucifixion -- his bearing the sin of the world -- is sorrowful unto death. Jesus fasts and prays in the wilderness. These are models for us: we are, Christ tells us, if we wish to be his disciples, supposed to "deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow him." The woman who wept at Jesus feet did not suddenly realize her sin and God's grace and then start laughing. She wept, knowing how she had lived, and how Jesus nonetheless loved her.

Further, my own awareness of the wrongness of my deeds, and of the ugliness of what I am and what I have done, is not something I can grasp all at once -- just as I cannot grasp fully the beauty of nature, or the love of God. I grow in my awareness of all these things. When I have been hurt, I sometimes don't know how deeply; and I need to realize, later, more fully what my reaction is; similarly, I may forgive someone, yet later realize that I need to forgive more deeply. And I may realize how I have hurt another, yet not realize it fully; later I may need to make further reparation, or acknowledgment, or at least more fully within myself recognize with sorrow what I have done. And so similarly, the shamefulness of what I have done or become, and the burden -- the responsibility, harm, and culpabililty -- of the wrong I've done is something I may need to work with, and sorrow for, lifelong. Just as, lifelong, I may joy in good things I've done, or that have been done for me, and in God's love and transformative mercy in my life.

Of course, there's good sorrow and bad sorrow. We are not supposed to bite ourselves, loath ourselves, or hate ourselves; but standing free in Christ we may yet recognize our sins -- their wrongfulness and degradation -- and, comforted by God, mourn them. Christ, the "man of sorrows" transforms out sorrows. We are not to live under the accusation of the enemy ("the accuser of the brethren"), or indulge in self-condemnation or self-loathing. We are to love those whom Christ loves: both others, and ourselves. But sorrow is not, in itself, something that is wrong; and sorrow for sin -- sorrowful awareness of the wickedness (culpability, objective guilt) of what we've done, and of the ugliness or degraded character (shamefulness) of what we've done -- (which must always be held in the joyful light of God's love and restoration and acceptance of those who flee to him for help and pardon) is simply awareness of reality, and an appropriate response to that reality, it seems to me. Thus Jesus commends this sorrow, saying "blessed are they who mourn." Our comfort comes through our mourning. So, it seems to me, Christ teaches us.

Well, I simply disagree with this reading of the text. The host is not much concerned with the woman at all: his disapproval is of Jesus. He is not trying to "impose shame" on her; he presupposes that what she's done is wrong, and shameful -- and he's right -- and is critical of Christ's acceptance-of-her-despite-her-shame. It is her repentence, and her faith in Jesus and love for Jesus that Jesus praises, not her "freedom from shame", which is a secondary consequence, and not the main point. If she were "free from shame" in the sense of not recognizing the shameful nature of things she had done, what'd be the point of her tears?

More broadly, I think the "psychologizing" of this incident -- reading in it something like a-person's-becoming-free-from-(feelings-of)-shame (a subjective, psychological emphasis) as central, rather than Christ-forgiving, seems to me importing contemporary concerns about our how important our feelings are into a narrative that which has quite different concerns.

I'm not eager to do that for two reasons: (1) because I think it is a misreading (an anachronistic misreading) of the text; and (2) because I fear it re-inforces wrong (non-biblical, and potentially anti-biblical) thinking which makes "my feelings" the important thing, rather than my actual relation to a holy and righteous God, and to God's law (God's statement of what is, objectively, good and bad, right and wrong, noble or ignoble) before which I actually stand guilty.

To argue what I just argued is not, IMO, to downplay the greatness of the redemption we have in Christ, and the glorious liberty of the children of God, and our joy in our redemption -- washed and pure through the blood of the lamb -- but rather to magnify and praise what God has done.I hate to dissect posts so I am replying to the spirit of the post. The issue I raised here is of the regenerative person. One who is crucified with Christ. Paul sums up as such, "it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Now, it is about such a person that this post is addressed to.

ravi4u2
Oct 10th 2007, 03:56 PM
[quote=ravi4u2;1405881]


We are condemned by it, not under it.

"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster." Galatians 3:23-25I stand with you here. To the regenerative person, what would be considered disobedience to His will (which ultimately induces 'shame')? The word applied as law or the word applied through a living relationship?