The One Thing I Wish...September 19, 2010

The audio from this past Sunday's sermon on Luke 1:5-25 can be found here. The one thing I wish I had more time to dig in and unpack is the relationship between shame and guilt. This came up a few times in conversations after the sermon because while my particular focus was on the experience of shame because of something that had been done to you, it was noted that you can feel deep shame when you're the perpetrator who has done wrong.

So then the question expands beyond 'what do I do about my shame?' to ask whether or not I have good reason to be experiencing shame in the situation and circumstances that present themselves.

To help answer that question, I encourage you to check out the manuscript of a sermon by John Piper entitled 'Battling the Unbelief of Misplaced Shame'. Here's an excerpt:

Misplaced shame (the kind we ought not to have) is the shame you feel when there is no good reason to feel it. Biblically that means the thing you feel ashamed of is not dishonoring to God; or that it IS dishonoring to God, but you didn't have a hand in it. In other words, misplaced shame is shame for something that's good—something that doesn't dishonor God. Or it's shame for something bad but which you didn't have any sinful hand in. That's the kind of shame we ought not have.

Well-placed shame (the kind you ought to have) is the shame you feel when there is good reason to feel it. Biblically that means we feel ashamed of something because our involvement in it was dishonoring to God. We ought to feel shame when we have a hand in bringing dishonor upon God by our attitudes or actions.

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