By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS, CPCS
A doctor, a lawyer, a little boy, and a priest were out for a Sunday afternoon flight on a small private plane. Suddenly, the plane developed engine trouble. Despite the best efforts of the pilot, the plane started to go down. Finally, the pilot grabbed a parachute and yelled to the passengers that they better jump, and he himself bailed out.
Unfortunately, there were only three parachutes remaining. The doctor grabbed one and said, “I’m a doctor, I save lives, so I must live,” and jumped out. The lawyer then said, “I’m a lawyer and lawyers are the smartest people in the world. I deserve to live.” He also grabbed a parachute and jumped.
The priest looked at the little boy and said, “My son, I’ve lived a long and full life. You are young and have your whole life ahead of you. Take the last parachute and live in peace.”
The little boy handed the parachute back to the priest and said, “Not to worry Father. The smartest man in the world just took off with my backpack.”
We think a lot about ourselves. We may not realize it but it’s true. As individuals, we are far too concerned about our own comfort – which requires the removal of mental and emotional distress while acquiring things in life that bring us pleasure. On top of that, we spend far too much time worrying about how others perceive us and working to make good impressions. If you don’t believe that just look at most Facebook postings.
And what is at the heart of this selfishness? Misguided pride. Continue reading
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. My Sites
As a Christian counselor with a private practice in Marietta, GA, I see two frightening similarities in many Christian clients.
- 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.
- 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.
“It’s pretty difficult to believe God loves and accepts you after you wake up in a strange man’s apartment with a massive hangover,” said Carole. “You know you are acting in a way God would not approve, so how do you approach Him when you need His help? I just can’t bring myself to be honest and contrite with Him because I’m so ashamed of the things I am doing to degrade my body.” Continue reading
You need to read this brief column written by Chuck Swindoll where he points out that we hate waiting on God for his plan to develop for our lives. This is even more evident when we are engrossed in shame. We hate our circumstances and ourselves. We want it all to go away. It will. In God’s time.
The Highway to the Promised Land
by Chuck Swindoll Exodus 14:15-22
Had we been in charge of the Red Sea project, we would have handled it differently. Our group of engineers would have pushed back that water a week in advance. We would have installed great, massive fans to dry out the land. We would have erected huge neon signs. Somebody would have brought in concession stands to handle the hot dogs and drinks. You see, when people do it, the project takes on all the trademarks of market-driven hotshots. The supernatural is easily eclipsed by human ingenuity.
That’s not God’s plan. When He wants you cornered, outnumbered. And there are no signs. There is no slick ad campaign. There are no great human resources to trust in. There are just an uncrossable Red Sea and an encroaching army of impossibilities. So you wait. And time passes. He will fight His way at His time. Bite your nails all you want to—He’s in no hurry. Continue reading
I am going to share a story of a brave woman named Madeleine Black who suffered through being raped, tortured and humiliated at the age of 13. Following her assault, the shame and self-loathing she felt led her to act out in a promiscuous manner as a teenager. Finally, she found love with a healthy man and peace when she learned to forgive.
I am sharing her story not only because it demonstrates the strength and courage of one woman, but also to illustrate how as men when we seek to engage in a casual sexual encounter with a willing woman who we found in a chat room or through a sex app, we are adding to the insult they had suffered earlier in their lives. We are stripping away from them another sliver of their limited self-worth. We are contributing to the shame they experience when we use them for our own sexual pleasure. We are as guilty of hurting them as the individuals who originally caused them emotional, physical and sexual pain. Continue reading
What identifies you? Is it your job? Is it the college you went to? Is it your status in the community or church? Or perhaps it is something from your past. Maybe it’s an abusive experience that you replay in your mind again and again.
These tragic memories never seem to fade away but instead continue to haunt you until they become part of your internal fabric that you wear every day. Or perhaps it’s a series of lies you have come to believe that are part of your identity. Lies such as: “I’m not that smart.” “I’m not attractive.” “I am unlovable.” “I am worthless.” “People never like me.” Continue reading