I taught yesterday at my church on the topic of shame.

I have immersed myself in books on the topic and am stunned by what I am learning.

Shame is ancient and universal. It competes to control us at all times. Way too many of us live under the shadow of shame and we don't even realize it.

It weighs us down.

It damages our soul.

It hinders our creativity and freedom.

It hampers our ability to love.

Shame is a liar.

Here is a definition of shame from one of my husband's professors from Fuller Seminary:

"Shame is a very heavy feeling ... that we do not measure up and maybe never will measure up to the sorts of persons we are meant to be. The feeling, when we are conscious of it, gives us a vague disgust with ourselves."

Lewis Smedes

The way to combat the voice of shame is multi-faceted, but mainly involves naming it, bringing it out into the open and being vulnerable with trusted others and with God.

I am going to write about shame over the coming weeks.

My recent learning is doing something really good in my own soul and I want to share it.