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Nov 25, 2019

In this episode Scott and guest Gary Black tackle how our struggles with shame--both from things done to us and things we have done--rob us of our identity. We'll talk about how God wants to restore us and steps we can take towards peace.

  1. Shame is usually rooted in things we have done or things that have been done to us. Which of these do you resonate with most? Why?
  2. Gary mentioned that we should never introduce ourselves or define ourselves by our deficiencies, but rather as a much-loved creation of God who therefore has significant value and worth. What self-deficiencies tend you plague your self-definition? How do you think Jesus would define who you are?
  3. Shame can come from many different sources, even those we are unaware of. It can come from ourselves, our church, teachers, coaches, parents, spouses, friends, even strangers on social media. Which relationships have caused you to be the most aware of shame? What was it that was done or said that has hurt you the most?
  4. In the battle against shame, we need to help people recognize their woundedness. What have been some of your most profound or longest-lasting wounds? 
  5. Discuss the fact that anger in men is often a sign of shame. In men, anger often stems from a place of masking a desire to never let anyone see our weaknesses.
  6. Once you have located the root of your shame, you need to see it in light of how God sees you: Forgiven and free of shame. As Gary mentioned, “You need to accept your unacceptableness.” What area(s) of your life do you struggle to accept? 
  7. Before we begin our self-improvement program, we must fully understand and fully accept God’s grace. Gary says grace is much more than just the cross—it is an all-encompassing, radically amazing, overwhelming sense of God’s love and favor for us. How does this challenge your past understanding of grace? 
  8. Forgiving someone, especially of a deep hurt, is not a “one and done”... it is more like the beginning of a journey. Share about your journey to forgive others. Is there someone specifically you struggle to forgive? Where are you at today with forgiveness?
  9. Forgiveness is a choice, it is not an emotion. Write a list of all the emotions that the person who hurt you has caused you and why. And then decide, from today on, that you will live in the freedom of forgiveness... and that you will not give that person power over you anymore.