The Challenges of Forgiveness

Forgiving people who have caused us trauma can be very difficult, especially for Christian who are often shamed or made to feel guilty because they struggle to forgive. I see this scenario play out every day in my private counseling practice as I assist individuals who struggle to forgive. forgiveness-1767432_1280-1

 This weekend I read one an excellent best book that describes what is and is not forgiveness. Below is a review.  

Simple yet powerful. That is the best way to describe the latest work Yvonne Ortega entitled “Moving From Broken to Beautiful Through Forgiveness”.

And that is exactly the journey Yvonne takes readers as she carefully breaks down the difficulties and confusion many people have when they think about forgiving those who have caused great hurt and pain. The prospect of forgiving someone who has inflicted severe trauma is never easy and many are left feeling guilty because of their inability to forgive.   Continue reading

Now Available: Breaking Your Shame Label

Many Christians struggle to feel God’s love because of their own shame. My new ebook, “Breaking Your Shame Label” tackles an issue that is not addressed enough in our churches – Christians who suffer with shame because they do not believe they measure up to receive God’s love. As a result, they feel disconnected from God and have a difficult time feeling His love for them. book-cover-label-9-29My Sites

As a Christian counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA, I see two frightening similarities in many Christian clients.

  1. They carry a burden of shame that results from an inability to control sinful behavior. We tend to believe God’s seal of approval is based on our “performance.” This creates a mindset of never measuring up to what God expects from us. This leads to what I call a Shame Label.
  2. There is an endless struggle to feel God’s love and presence. “What does God’s love feel like” we ask. We dare not move toward Him in fear He will label us as disappointments and reject us. What we fail to recognize is we are projecting the negative feelings we have about ourselves on to God. We have adopted lies Satan drills into our heads to hinder our relationship with the Father. We are trapped in the Christian Shame Cycle, which leaves us feeling spiritually empty.

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Let Jesus Feel the Shame

God doesn’t want to shame you. He wants to help remove your shame. This article was written by Tim Challies, who is a blogger, author, and book reviewer and first appeared Sept. 5, 2012.
So many Christians live their lives racked with guilt and shame. They think back to the things they did, the sins they committed, whether two days ago or two decades, and they live under a cloud of shame. This shame hurts, it burns, it incapacitates. It raises this question: What is the place of guilt, what is the place of shame, in the life of the Christian? I want to take a shot at answering that question today. anonymous-376540_1280

We need to begin by distinguishing between guilt and shame. Here is how I differentiate between them: Guilt is the objective reality that I have committed an offense or a crime; shame is the subjective experience of feeling humiliation or distress because of what I have done. God has made us in such a way that sin incurs guilt and guilt generates shame. But there is a catch and a caution: Guilt and shame come in helpful forms and in paralyzingly unhelpful forms. Guilt and shame can be a good gift of God or a curse of Satan. Continue reading