This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.
The Difference between Guilt and Shame by Dan DeWitt
Though Guilt and Shame are twins, born in the garden, only moments apart, they aren’t identical. Guilt is usually tied to an event: I did something bad. Shame is tied to a person: I am bad. Guilt is the wound. Shame is the scar. Guilt is isolated to the individual. Shame is contagious.
- If you enjoyed this post, you might like my post “The Difference Between Guilt, Shame, and Regret” which unpacks these concepts a bit further.
Why do Churches cover up sin? by David Murray
As I’ve processed this agony and listened to people who have made bad decisions in these situations, I’ve come to realize there is no one reason that explains everybody. Instead there are numerous possible motivations, and often a few are found in the same heart.
- If you want to know more about reporting abuse, here is a post with several resources.
A Common Misconception about Suffering by David Powlison
The question of why we suffer is probably on the heart of every honest person. A frequent misconception about suffering often recurs in Christian circles. It says: “You are suffering because God is trying to teach you something.” The implication is that suffering correlates to addressing some particular sin in your life.
- If you enjoyed this article, you might also like my post “How to Find Joy in Suffering.”
So must we inhabit humorless homes? Absolutely not. Ironic wit, free of sarcasm, can bring lightness even on our hardest or dullest days. Who doesn’t love a person who can laugh at themselves and help us laugh in the midst of difficulty, sorrow, or monotony? Such humor is God’s gift to help us temper the bitter with the sweet. It is wholesome, “helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (Eph. 4:29).
- If you want to think further about humor in familial relationships, consider my post “Honor in Humor Influences Honor in Conflict.”
Who Defines Your Joy? by James Coffield
It often seems as if God narrates the story of our lives with irony. Joy is often fleeting, and real joy is paradoxically birthed in the most challenging of times. As I am writing on this topic of joy, I have been dealing with significant sorrow. A few weeks ago, I was asked to speak at the funeral of a young friend. Is the buoyancy of joy possible when swimming in a sea of sorrow? Is real joy possible in a sin-stained, fallen world?
- If you are thinking about God-honoring emotions in difficult times, you might like my post “What Is “Emotional Maturity”?“
What I’m Reading
Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger. Faster-spreading than the flu are the ordinary conversations people have about products and ideas, according to this infectious treatise on viral marketing. Drawing on his own nifty research, Wharton marketing professor Berger investigates all manner of phenomena surging name brands, chic restaurants, YouTube hits, most e-mailed articles that catch on through word-of-mouth popularity.
There are discernible dynamics behind the apparent chaos of trendiness, he argues: we naturally want to talk about things that seem fashionable, secretive, useful, or remarkable, that arouse our emotions, that come to mind frequently in mundane settings, and that wrap themselves in compelling stories. He applies these principles to illuminate a slew of marketing and PR conundrums, explaining why a Philadelphia restaurant prospered by charging for a cheese steak, why “Just Say No” ads may make kids say yes, why people sometimes pay more to get a discount, and why that Budweiser commercial featuring dudes saying “Wassup?” was a stroke of genius. Berger writes in a sprightly, charming style that deftly delineates the intersection of cognitive psychology and social behavior with an eye toward helping businesspeople and others spread their messages. The result is a useful and entertaining primer that diagnoses countless baffling pop culture epidemics.
Tweets of the Week
In a therapeutic society, sinfulness is no longer falling short of the glory of God, but the falling short of your own potential.
— Trevin Wax (@TrevinWax) February 21, 2018
We can’t be generous unless we have margin. We will never have margin until we learn to say “enough”.
— Bryan Loritts (@bcloritts) February 23, 2018
A God who never wept could never wipe away my tears.
— Austin Daniel Gentry (@AustinGentry) February 26, 2018
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.