Monday, October 29, 2007

Shame

We talked about shame the other night at our Samson Society meeting. Shame that makes us hide, that makes us afraid to be real with others and shame that can crush us.

A thought came to mind that I read in a book by Paul Coughlin called No More Christian Nice Guy. It was about the difference between guilt and shame. He speaks of the abuse in his childhood and the effect. “The abused carry a belief that there is something wrong with them not because they are sinners but because they are defective.” One thing he shows is this results in confusion between guilt and shame. Listen to this:

Guilt is not destructive to a person, because it's a response to what he does, and because something can be done about it. We can acknowledge our wrongdoing, change our behavior, and experience forgiveness.

Shame, however, goes beyond the understanding that "I did wrong things" to "I am worthless through and through." This is an anti-biblical view of creation, a lie that, when believed, robs YOU of how you perceive your own value.
Many men carry that shame either from childhood abuse or from the pressure of a world that views them as defective.

_______________________

Here is something I read last week, written by Nate Larkin’s (a Samson cofounder) pastor:

The best way to describe The Samson Society is through a well-known story recorded in Mark’s gospel. One day, four good friends took their paralyzed friend to Jesus on a mat, each man grabbing a corner. Removing the tiles of, perhaps, a stranger’s roof, they risked lowering their friend to the One rumored to have the power to heal.

A typical Samson Society small group consists of five broken men and one mat-each one taking his turn on the mat, while the other four learn how to carry another man to Jesus. The accountability these men give one another focuses first on hearing and believing the gospel together. From that core value, “busting” each other for indiscretions and encouraging one another in important disciplines flow.

Restoring Broken Men
by Scotty Smith
I do want to put the word busted, used above, in context. That doesn’t happen in a Samson meeting. It may happen in a Silas relationship. That’s where you tell your story day after day to a friend who you have chosen to walk along with you. Most of the time each of us knows where we have messed up. It is those things that have pushed us into the dark corner of isolation. We don’t need anyone else to tell us. What we do need is another guy, who is not me, to listen, pray, tell us we are not alone, tell us we are like all other men, not some freak of reprobation. Yes, we need a savior; we know that too. And sometimes we need another guy or group of guys to help us reach that Savior.

Philip

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