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What is the benefit of wrestling with and uncovering experiences of shame and guilt? When we become more aware of these experiences, we will better grasp the depth of Christ’s love for us, because Jesus is as concerned about the shame we experience as he is about our guilt. We will know better how to pray, how to ask for help, and how to find help and healing in God’s Word. And as we grow in wisdom, we are better equipped to walk with others.
Guilt seems fairly straightforward, it is about what you do. It results when you fall short of a moral standard or you cross a line. But shame is more difficult to grasp, it is about who you are and how you feel before the eyes of someone whose opinion matters. Shame is different than embarrassment. You feel exposed and worthless, rejected and humiliated.
This study emphasizes the human experience of shame, not because the problem of guilt isn’t important, but because shame is often overlooked as a universal struggle. So one goal of this study is to uncover shame and understand its relationship to guilt. Here you will learn how to identify the experiences of guilt and shame, know how Scripture speaks profoundly to both, and see how God responds.
Uncovering Shame and Guilt Curriculum: Summary of Content (includes running times)
Lesson 1: The Experience of Shame – Edward T. Welch (40:31)
Ed begins this study by defining guilt and defining shame and identifying distinctions between the two. Then he discusses how shame presents itself in various ways in human experience. Finally, Ed works through Old Testament passages to show how God pursues shamed people and transforms their shame into honor. God’s pursuit of his shamed and guilty people finds its greatest fulfillment in Jesus.
Lesson 2: Guilt and Shame With Jesus – David Powlison (33:28)
In this lesson David focuses in on two women in the Gospel of Luke who encounter Jesus and experience his response to their guilt and shame. David shows how Jesus, unlike all others, moves toward the shamed and guilty in order to remove their uncleanness and humiliation. These Gospel stories also express our need for Jesus to transform our shame and guilt. When Jesus enters a person’s soul and experience everything changes.
Lesson 3: A Pastor’s Story of Need – Pastor Joe Novenson (24:28)
Joe discusses how his own experiences of shame and guilt affect his life and ministry as a way to help others who struggle. Joe offers hope in this lesson by telling you how he spiritually “fights” to be a follower of Jesus Christ from within his own floodwaters of experience. In faith, Joe practices transparency and accountability with trusted others, the spiritual gift of repentance, and finding refuge in Christ through the Scriptures.
Lesson 4: After Christ Everything About Shame Changes – Edward T. Welch (37:34)
In this lesson Ed looks at a significant aspect of shame that we can overlook – the humiliation and rejection that we experience no longer before the Lord but still before other people. Ed discusses portions of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and Philippians to show how Paul experienced humiliation and rejection yet responded very differently because of his association with Jesus Christ. Because of Christ, shame and its experience are now transformed and a new version of honor exists for everyone who is in Christ.
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