June 20, 2016 by: Heather Nelson – Crossway Ministries
1. Shame is different from guilt.
Ed Welch, a professor and the author of Shame Interrupted, first alerted me to the difference between shame and guilt. Guilt’s message is, “I did something bad,” and needs justification and forgiveness. Shame’s message is, “I am bad,” and needs an identity shift and relational connection. Sin leaves both in its wake, and shame is what lingers even after forgiveness has been sought and granted. Shame feels like it’s welded onto you, but guilt feels like something outside of you.
2. Shame can arise from others’ sin against us.
Shame is commonly found in victims of abuse. Shameful and sinful acts committed against a person leave one more vulnerable to shame. It’s not uncommon for the victim of sexual assault to feel more shame than the perpetrator.
A poignant biblical example is in the story of Tamar who was raped by her brother, Amnon, who then expelled her and said he wanted nothing to do with her. She walks away mourning, cloaked in shame. 2 Samuel describes her exit: “And she laid her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went” (2 Sam. 13:19). Read the Article: https://www.crossway.org/articles/10-things-you-should-know-about-shame/