It crawls up inside our bellies like a thick serpent, fills our throats with sickening poison, and whispers condemnation in our ears until at last its grip is tight enough to close off our breath.
Shame is dreadful, but sometimes it's a good thing—people who have no shame at all are commonly referred to as psychopaths. There are things that are, in fact, shameful, and to which shame is a proper response. That is not the type of shame we're talking about.
When Adam and Eve were naked and ashamed in the garden they were feeling two kinds of shame. One was the proper shame brought on by the guilt of being disobedient to and at odds with God. The second was the shame of nakedness brought on by sin's destruction of their intimacy.
While there is indeed a proper time and place for shame, most of us are living with—or dealing out—improper kinds of shame. The type of shame that Jesus was nailed to the cross for, the kind of shame that He took on for our sake. There is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, but this kind of shame tells us that we still deserve to pay for our sins, that Jesus' shame was not enough. It spits in the face of the Crucifixion.
Maybe you are struggling with shame or maybe, consciously or not, you are heaping it on someone else's head. Now is the time to stop. These books are some of the best we've found on letting go of shame and instead embracing vulnerability, the courage to face your unworthiness, your fears, and say "I am not enough, but Jesus is."
Shame Interrupted is a Christian counseling approach that looks at shame in the view of the whole Scriptures. Families Where Grace Is In Place is a book for parents who want to create a culture of grace in their homes, rather than a burden of shame. And Daring Greatly, by a self-proclaimed shame researcher, looks at the causes and thought patterns that govern shame in our culture, work, and all our relationships. Each of these books are excellent starting points for untangling the lies of shame that choke our lives. We hope you find them helpful.
Review by Lauren Shearer
Lauren Shearer writes words for fun and profit. She also makes films, but everyone knows you can't make a profit doing that. Her other hobby is consistently volunteering way too much of her time. You can read more of her reviews here.
Did you find this review helpful?