Using Shame to Change Others

One of my pet peeves is the common belief that shaming others brings change.

Sadly I’ve heard this in Parenting, Teaching, Faith communities and Civil authorities. It’s the basis for much of what happens in Media, Business and TV shows.

And sadly it is something we all have done.

It is one thing we all fear. Being shamed makes us hide our authenticity and courage. It makes us armor up with so many things like cynicism, negativity, anger, punishment tools like pouting, withholding our hearts, gossiping. Cancel culture is driven by this.

Yet we cannot change and grow when we are in shame and it doesn’t work to use shame to change others.

The message of shame is I am not enough. I am bad. I am a mistake. So when we shame others, this is the message we are speaking into their souls.

Treat someone like they are dumb long enough and they believe it and become it.

Just think. There is a world of difference when we say to our child “You are a good kid, but that choice you made was stupid” verses “You are a stupid kid and that was stupid.”

When we shame others, we are actually saying to God what you make is stupid, no good and not enough. You made a mistake!

Genesis 1:26 says “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.” After every creative action of God in Genesis 1, it says “ And God saw that is was good.” We mock and shame God when we do this to others!

Shaming others is cruel, unkind and heartless. It is the tool of an unloving spirit. It reflects more about what is going on in your heart than others. It is the symptom of identity and self worth under the pump. 

That’s why we are actually told, “But continually encourage one another every day, as long as it is called “Today” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin [its cleverness, delusive glamour, and sophistication]” (Heb 3:13)

Encourage! That sounds like “This ….. is something that I love about you” “I admire or respect that about you” or “Man you are so better than that!”

We actually do our best change from this place of encouragement. It speaks to self worth and connection. 

Encourage. I dare you!

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