April 26, 2017

bible study imageSubject: Honor overcomes shame

Trying to figure out feelings of shame or disgrace can seem like a puzzle that comes with 12,000 pieces. And all the pieces are nearly the same color!

To feel shame is to feel humiliated, but what’s the difference between being humiliated and being humble?

What’s the difference between humility and pride?

What’s the difference between pride and self-respect?

Fortunately, the words don’t need to confuse us. The Holy Spirit helps us understand that God doesn’t give us puzzles as if we are being tested. God is intelligence.

With an intelligent God comes our ability to rationally figure out, with the help of inspiration from Truth, answers.

Psychology Today posts articles online telling us ways to work with answers that help us not become befuddled by shame. The topic is headlined by Understanding Embarrassment and reads, “Embarrassment is a painful but important emotion. It makes us feel bad about our mistakes so that we don’t repeat them, and one of its side effects—blushing—signals to others that we recognize our error and are not cold-hearted or oblivious. Shame, a related emotion, can be felt even when no one knows about a slip-up. Guilt tends to focus on what one has done, rather than who one is.”

As for shame, it can be felt at a private personal level or a world level.

The other day, I was talking with my sister and her daughter after dinner. We were talking a mile-a-minute because we live 3,000 miles apart and were thrilled to be able to meet when they were on the east coast for a brief trip.

I brought up a topic related to real estate, and noticed a look of concern come over my sister’s face. She was nodding with her eyes, toward my niece and clearly saying with her mind, “Stop talking about that subject in front of my daughter.”

I felt ashamed and changed the subject immediately after saying, “Well, I don’t know much about that real estate and shouldn’t be talking about it.”

To stop feeling shame, I did have to stop focusing on what I had done, and focus on who I am: God’s daughter, who can correct her mistakes and move on in life. I can build on God, Truth, rather than try to build on a mistake.

As for shame in the world. It’s there, here, everywhere, and shouldn’t be ignored.

A few examples are the arrest of Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee, which has been embarrassing to Korea Inc.; family television got a raw deal when Bill Cosby, star of the popular Cosby Show, was accused of sexual harassment; and, humanity’s raping of the earth is shameful to say the least. We can erase these marks against humanity.

We can take cues from people in the past who dealt effectively with shame.

Please read in your Bible, I Peter 2: 1-12

Scriptural writers mulled over the same things we do today. We put-it-together that spiritual honor is supreme over shame. We realize that it only makes sense that the higher power is one of honor. It only makes sense that God doesn’t shame us into honor, but that being honorable is natural for us.

Two modern-day authors, Jackson Wu and Jayson Georges, co-authored a post on Christianity Today, titled, “Exposing the Truth about Honor and Shame.” We read, “Shame is getting exposed, finally.

“Commentators now observe how Western culture, especially the millennial generation, is becoming more shame-prone. Consequently, more Westerners are seeking release from the disease of shame—that dreadful feeling of unworthiness and isolation.

“The crippling shame we feel before other people is ultimately rooted in our objective shame before God.

“Fortunately, Jesus solves the entire problem of shame. As a faithful son who honored the Father, he atones for our objective shame before God and liberates us from subjective shame. Paul and Peter both declare, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame” (Romans 10:13; 1 Peter 2:6, cf. Isaiah 28:26, 45:17).”

On another website, www.Laitman.com Michael Laitman, founder of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute and professor of ontology, posted on March 5,2017, How can we overcome shame?

We read:

“Question: How does a Kabbalist overcome shame? It is the strongest most hated feeling a person has?

“Answer: What should a person be ashamed of? This is how the Creator manages him. If a person has a problem, he has to turn to the Creator and sort out the problem with Him.

“A Kabbalist doesn’t feel shame about anything. If he feels shame, he experiences terrible pangs of conscience because the egoism that has grown convinces him that he is the one who has actually done something, that he has programmed his life, that he has reacted wrongly, or that he has wronged people. But it is all the Creator, not him! These states are given to us on purpose so that eventually we will be able to appreciate ourselves correctly.

“This approach is described in Kabbalah books and it is only according to this approach that we can relate to everything correctly. We don’t do it in order to avoid taking responsibility. In fact when we relate to life this way, we put ourselves in a situation where we the created beings invoke and summon the Surrounding Light unto ourselves in order to really manage our future state, but only through the upper world.”

After reading that post, I thought this idea that we can responsibly experience the honor of God, is also found in the New Testament.

Please read in your Bible, I Corinthians 1

From 21st Century Science and Health:

Mind is the grand revelator and there can be no power except that which is derived from Mind. If Mind was first chronologically, is first potentially, and must be first eternally, then give to Mind the glory, honor, dominion, and power everlastingly due its holy name.

Controlled by divine intelligence, we are harmonious and eternal. But, whatever is regulated by a negative attitude is shiftless and mortal. We say people suffer from the effects of noise, heat, and fatigue, however, this is human creed, not the truth of being, for matter cannot suffer. Human mind alone suffers—not because a law of matter has been violated, but because a law of this mind has been disobeyed.

We must continue to wiggle our way out of human systems and theories, whether time-honored or not, if we would gain the Truth as our only Savior. Not in part, but totally, the great healer of human mind is the healer of the body.

The purpose and motive to live spiritually can be achieved now. Getting off to the right start, you have taken the preliminary steps in divine Science and nothing but wrong intention can obstruct your advancement. Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way. “Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?”[1]

Saul of Tarsus turned his attention to the way of Christ, Truth—only when his uncertain sense of right yielded to a spiritual sense which is always right. Saul was changed when his thought took on a more decent attitude and his life was spiritualized.[2] He learned the wrong he had done in persecuting followers of Spirit, whose religion he had not understood. In humility, he adopted the name Paul. He beheld for the first time the true idea of Love and learned a lesson in divine Science.

Final deliverance from error is not reached by taking the easy way. There are no shortcuts. Deliverance is also not experienced by attaching our faith without works, to someone else’s effort. Whoever believes that violent anger is justified or that divinity is appeased by human suffering, does not understand God. In our deliverance, we rejoice in peaceful honor, immortality, and spiritual freedom.

There is too much animal courage in society and not enough moral courage. Christians must take up arms against limited mindsets at home and abroad. They must wrestle with selfish and incomplete views in themselves and in others, and continue this warfare until they have finished the course. If they keep the faith, they will receive the honor of rejoicing.

At the cross, Jesus was rejected by everyone except John and a few women. Jesus endured the shame. He never strayed from sharing goodness. His reward was worth it, although the earthly price for spirituality in a materialist age was painfully high. The great moral distance between spiritual Christianity and material sensationalism precludes divine Science from finding favor with the worldly minded.

The depraved appetite for alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, methamphetamines, promiscuity, pornography, is destroyed only by Mind’s control of the body. There is no enjoyment in getting drunk, in becoming a fool, or being an object of extreme disgust. There is actually a very sharp remembrance of shame, a suffering inconceivably terrible to one’s self-respect. Morbid cravings are loathsome. Normal control is gained through divine strength and understanding.

Humanity’s dependence on relentless passions, selfishness, envy, hatred, and revenge—is beaten only by a mighty struggle. Every hour of delay makes the struggle more severe. If not victorious over negative human elements, then happiness, health, and courage will be crushed, but divine Science is the universal remedy, giving strength to the weakness of human mind. Spiritual and omnipotent Mind lifts humanity above itself into purer desires, even into spiritual power and good-will to humankind.

Belief produces the results of belief, and the results remain so long as the belief continues. The remedy consists in investigating the trouble thoroughly. Find, and cast out by denial the mistaken thinking which produces human problems. Make sure never to honor a flawed conviction by calling it a law. Do not cede obedience to materialism. Affirm that the spiritual lawgivers, Truth, Life, and Love, are the only legitimate and eternal demands on us. Spirit enforces obedience through divine statutes.

The prayer that reforms and heals is an absolute faith that all things good are made possible by God. This type of prayer includes spiritual understanding and unselfish love. Speaking from experience, God has given us the tools of humility, meditation, awareness, and action, to attain improved spirituality and health.

 

[1] Gal. 5:7

[2] Acts 9

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