There are many things that are all around us but we never really see until someone points them out to us. Then we see them everywhere! A switch turns on and all of a sudden we’re conscious to something that just wasn’t on our radar before. That’s how it was with shame for me. I heard the word but I just figured that it was pretty much like guilt but different somehow. I had heard that it was connected with samurai suicides and south Asian honour killings, but I didn’t think it was something that the average Canadian dealt with. I was wrong. It wasn’t until I went to Japan that I was forced to get my head around what shame really is and how it operates. And having my eyes opened to it, I see the dynamics of shame at work all over.
Repentance is one of those old words. It doesn’t get used a lot in everyday conversation. It isn’t a word that trends on Twitter or show up in the titles of the latest bestsellers. But it’s a significant word and more importantly a crucial concept. That’s why I was intrigued by the article, “Are you repenting the wrong way?” by Jon Snyder. He leads a ministry that has counseled thousands of people but he says that at the outset all of them are struggling with the wrong kind of repentance. And the problem is that “not only is this wrong repentance extremely emotionally unhealthy, but it actually produces more death and more sin. The damage this mentality does to your soul and your intimacy with God is far worse that [sic] the consequences of your sin itself, so in His wisdom, God will not help you overcome your sin if it means it affirms this mentality.” Got your attention yet?