By Eddie Capparucci, LPC, CSAS
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4: 4-12
Whether it happens in our own lives, or we watch others struggle, we know when difficult times come they can be overwhelming and draining. Whether it’s a relationship issue, a chronic illness, an expected accident, or a tragic event, we can feel helpless or worst yet, hopeless.
But as we learn from the Apostle Paul in this verse, if Jesus Christ is manifested in us we may be perplexed but we’re not crushed. We may be persecuted by we are not forsaken. We may be struck down but we are not destroyed.
For we are delicate jars of clay that are fragile and broken. But these broken jars of clay are also blessed with wonderful treasures known as the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. The Good News of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, given to us by the Holy Spirit. 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.
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.
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
“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
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