September 27, 2009
Here are some questions that need answering about a topic that is seldom discussed.
I'll say it from the beginning: this is a week when I'll need a lot of help from all of you, our faithful readers. That's because I'm not very confident about the topic of shame. I have experienced shame, of course, and talked through those experiences with others. But I get the impression that I don't experience shame as often as I should. And although I understand that there is healthy shame and unhealthy shame, I don't really understand the difference between the two.
So please help!
I think the second and third teaching points are a great place to camp as a group and enjoy some quality discussion. It would be great just to talk openly about questions like:
-- What causes shame?
-- Where is the line between healthy shame and unhealthy shame?
-- What do we do if we are experiencing healthy shame? Unhealthy shame?
That's a discussion where I feel like I could learn a lot. That's also a great opportunity for Teachable Moments—times when the Holy Spirit moves in your group in a way that brings people to respond, learn, grow, and change.
Speaking of questions, there are some things I've wondered about shame that I would love your collective input on. For example, what is the difference between guilt and shame? Is one more positive or negative than the other?
One more question: in your experience, is shame a bigger issue for women than for men? Do women experience shame more often, or do men have an easier time ignoring or shaking off feelings of shame? I would genuinely love to hear what everyone thinks about that one.
posted by Sam O'Neal on September 27, 2009 3:44 PM