Shaming Is Dangerous…

We live in a world where most people still subscribe to the belief that shame is a good tool for keeping people in line. Not only is this wrong, but it’s dangerous. Shame is highly correlated with addiction, violence, aggression, depression, eating disorders, and bullying.” Brené Brown

Meditation: Shaming has been and is until today a method of parenting and a method of religion to “keep children/people in line”. It works, but it has a brutal impact on the soul and psyche of a (growing) person. The experience of being shamed repeatedly can lead to self-“aside”, self-hatred, self-shaming and then also hate of others. Speaking shaming words are a subtle way of abuse. The abusers feel better about themselves, as demeaning words are being hidden and packaged “nicely”. Sometimes deeply shaming words are spoken in church. I sometimes overhear parents scold their children who might just be running around in church, having fun being kids… One would think the children had broken holy laws and were the most shameful creatures on earth. And the scolding is done with quiet, yet deeply impacting shaming words: “How dare you?..” “Who do you think you are?…” “Have you lost your mind?…” “See, all the other kids are walking. You are so irresponsible, crazy, bad behaved, shameful…” Overhearing those words always hurts me. I do not think the parents know what they are doing and how deep those shaming words go. It doubly hurts and saddens me when such shaming words are being spoken in and then being associated with church.

Prayer: God, You have come to remove our shame. You entered our human existence to free us from any feelings of shame that comes from being natural, vulnerable and limited human beings. You shared our experience by becoming flesh, so we can no longer hate or despise ourselves without hating and despising You. You came to help us, You came to show compassion and love, so we are not being humiliated. Your Spirit never shames. Your Spirit of Love always wants to create self- and other acceptance and a steadfast resolve in us. God, help us keep the shaming out of our parenting and out of Your Church. Amen

But the sovereign Lord helps me, so I am not humiliated. For that reason I am steadfastly resolved; I know I will not be put to shame. Isaiah 50:7