Recently a reader wrote to me who is struggling with shame over past choices. She wondered if I had any suggestions for how to “kick the feelings of guilt, helplessness, hopelessness amd get closer to God.” That is such a great question, and I knew that my friend Shari would be the person to ask. She is a trained Biblical counselor and a person I often turn to for advice.
I emailed her with this question and she quickly replied. The information she shared was so good, that I want to offer it to all of you. Keep in mind that this was not a prepared and carefully formulated written response, but a quick message sent to me. Honestly, that’s one of the things I love about it. I’ve made a few small edits for clarity.
Right off, one of my favorite books dealing with shame is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Brene Brown does not write from a Christian perspective, but oh my, does she describe where shame comes from, the effects, and new perspectives. It’s very readable. The only thing that I think is missing from this book is how we should actually deal with shame. The Christian answer is declaring what Christ did on the cross as a covering over our shame. The author tells us to ‘look within’ for answers. Still, I recommend the book because it is mind-blowing.