I wanted to wait to post this later but it's too good.
This is profound, "We can't talk about race without talking about shame." ~ Dr. Brene Brown.
Shame is another topic that many Christian leaders don't talk much about. It's getting ridiculous that secular scholars have such a better understand of human nature than many theologians and pastors. I'm starting to lose interest in reading Christian writers on these topics because many don't seem to have many insights beyond the old formulas that tempt us into thinking that being human is liability to oneself and the world at large. The connection between race and shame is so central that I can't believe it didn't lead conversations on racial reconciliation in the 1970s and 1980s.
Moreover, I agree with Dr. Brown that we have a shame epidemic in our country. It's so bad that people turn to narcissism as an antidote but, as we all know, that approach fails.
Shame versus guilt, says Brown:
Shame drives two big tapes -- "never good enough" and, if you can talk it out of that one, "who do you think you are?" The thing to understand about shame is it's not guilt. Shame is a focus on self, guilt is a focus on behavior. Shame is "I am bad." Guilt is "I did something bad." How many of you, if you did something that was hurtful to me, would be willing to say, "I'm sorry. I made a mistake?" How many of you would be willing to say that? Guilt: I'm sorry. I made a mistake. Shame: I'm sorry. I am a mistake.
There's a huge difference between shame and guilt. And here's what you need to know. Shame is highly, highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide, eating disorders. And here's what you even need to know more. Guilt, inversely correlated with those things. The ability to hold something we've done or failed to do up against who we want to be is incredibly adaptive. It's uncomfortable, but it's adaptive.
Why do you think conservative Protestants rarely seek to help people deal with issues of shame?