February 15, 2008

Restoring our dignity

Psalm 31:1 "In you, O Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness."

Shame is one of the most malignant and controlling emotions we can experience. Shame can lead us to believe that what and who we are is wrong. Shame steals our dignity and our personhood. We never learn the difference between what we do and who we are. If what we do is all that is bad or wrong, we still have our personhood, and we can work to change our behavior. But if who we are is bad, we have little hope. Only God can restore our lost sense of dignity. The process begins when we can see that he truly wants to help us. The more aware we become of his desire to be close to us, the less shame we feel. Shame is healed as we continue to come to him, as we are, and experience his unconditional acceptance.

2 comments:

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

That's one of the hard parts of parenting. Making them understand that while they are not naughty, their actions (such as cutting Sister's hand!) most definitely are!

Alicia said...

Steph-great observation. It's so easy to take away our children's dignity when we correct.