Brandy, Addy, and Grace,
“Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.” – Ben Franklin
Unrealistic expectations lead to frustration – frustration leads to either apathy (an “I give up” attitude) or anger, and anger leads to shame for one or more of the people involved.
Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation and emotional distress by when someone realizes that they did something wrong or foolish.
The Shame of the Giver
More often than not, shame lands on the one who acted in anger, once they are convicted by their conscience of their mistake. You see, anger is often wrapped in the lie called “Tough Love,” but it’s not really Love of any kind – it’s just the visible outcome of an emotionally weak and frustrated person, who doesn’t know what else to do; therefore, they lash out at those who have frustrated them.
The Shame of the Recipient
The recipient of anger is usually hurt by the cruel and bitter tirades of the angry one, as he/she provides instances and examples that painfully illustrate how the recipient failed to meet whatever expectations the angry one had for them. The result of this is not something that builds up and restores but destroys.
Shame and Christianity
One of the main reasons we now live in a Post-Christian Culture is not because people have rejected the God of the Bible (they don’t know Him), but instead, they have rejected the anger, shame, and hypocrisy that they see in His followers. For far too many years, those who were Called to Walk in Love didn’t (and many still don’t)… those who were Commanded to Love God & People (Matthew 22:36-40) didn’t have the heart of Jesus, and they refused to pass on to others the Grace that they received from God.
It seems that there’s a fairly common misconception among religious folks… they just can’t understand that the reason people Believed and Followed Jesus (still Believe and Follow) wasn’t that they were shamed into it. They Believed because He met them where they were at physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and regardless of their circumstance, He showed them Love and Compassion. And once they saw His Love, they decided that they wanted more, and in Faith, they decided to Follow Him.
Now Jesus did show anger, and He did use shame, but it wasn’t toward those the religious folks called “sinners.” It was only reserved for the self-righteous hypocrites (Mark 3:1-6, Matthew 23, and many more, but I digress).
My Girls, I can’t tell you how many times I have been shamed because of my anger – how many times I gave up on Love and allowed frustration to lead me down a path of hateful words that hurt those who God Loves. I Hope and Pray that you will always choose Love and Grace over anger and shame so that those around you can see Jesus in their time of need.
Challenge Question: Where are you’re opportunities to Love instead of shame TODAY?