Eliminate shame from our relational diet?

By Dave Henning / May 30, 2020

“Although it is tempting to hope that we can eliminate shame from our relational diet, it is futile to wish for this.  Our hope is, rather, changing our response to it as we journey together toward God’s kingdom. . . .  As such  . . . we starve [shame] over time, not by avoiding it but by attending to it as a component of a larger story.  A story whose beginning is as much about how we were made as it is about why we were made.”- Curt Thompson, The Soul of Shame (2015)

In Chapter 16 of In Want + Plenty, Meredith McDaniel reminds us of the goal of looking back at our story.  That goal? – to trace God’s hand in your life.  However, the goal is not to resurrect of deepen your shame.  Rather, the aim is to set you free.  And, as the stories within the context of Exodus foreshadow, we find that hope in Jesus.  Certainly, Meredith notes, freedom comes with a cost.  A cost Jesus already paid!

Furthermore, as Alastair Roberts and Andrew Wilson write in their new book Echoes of Exodus, internal – rather than external – oppression  presents the greatest threat to freedom.  The authors explain:

“True slavery is captivity of the soul, not just the body.  Until a nation or person is freed from that, and free to become what they were originally intended to be, their exodus is incomplete.”

So, one point of the exodus involves Israel finding deliverance from their old master.  Above all, Israel needed to delight in serving their new master – God.  While God certainly wants us to conform, He also desires to transform us.  Larry Crabb writes the following in his book When God’s Way Makes No Sense:

“Settled, growing trust is required to follow Jesus through every season of life.  That needed trust develops only in souls that tremble.  We must trust to obey.  But we must tremble to trust.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you change your response to shame rather than try to eliminate shame?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Full life consists of both peace and pain”

About the author

Dave Henning

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