Shame [sheym] noun
- the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another: She was overcome with shame.
- susceptibility to this feeling: to be without shame.
- disgrace; ignominy: His actions brought shame upon his parents.
When used as a verb, it may say more about the person using it than it does about the victim. Make no mistake, in some situations we can be the victim and the aggressor.
Think about the moments that you have been subjected to shame. Someone in a classroom projecting it upon you perhaps. A “friend” using it to gain some delusional ground on you. Yourself… heaping an invisible dose of it around your neck; allowing it to effect every situation, decision, and relationship in our path. Anyone in any circle will eventually find that shame has no staying power. It may do damage, but eventually it will be revealed for what it is.
Church, shame is a cheap substitute for conviction.
Shame has no place in our faith, relationships, or work. Friends, shame is an insecure method of connection that will never end in true community. Co-workers, there’s just no place for it in the office; It’s simply not endearing, and we can smell it's toxins.
NO one can be shamed into believing. There is no belief there, just emptiness and frustration. Ben Franklin once said “whatever is begun in anger ends in shame”. If this is true, this is very telling of anyone using shame as one of their tactics or techniques.
It attempts to steal hope and life from us. It should have no place and we should walk out of the room when and if we feel it’s presence. It is poison.
Richard Rohr says the Church became so preoccupied with the fly in the ointment, the flaw in the beauty that we forgot and even missed out on any original blessing. We saw Jesus primarily as a problem-solver rather than as a revealer of the very heart and image of God (Colossians 1:15f). We must now rebuild on a foundation of goodness, and not on a foundation of original curse (or sin). We dug a pit so deep that most people and most theologies could not get back out of it. You must begin with yes. We cannot begin with no, or it is not a beginning at all.
May we spread hope, not venom. May we bring peace, not hurt and chaos.