Session 5: My Journey with Shame
Because we are created in God’s image, we have inherent dignity, God’s desire and design to us to have intimacy with Him and others has been damaged through both sin and shame. Shame is two-sided. Legitimate shame comes as an appropriate response to guilt over sins committed. The cross of Christ offers forgiveness for that. Illegitimate shame occurs when we believe lies about ourselves that are contrary to what God says about us. Its effects form the foundation for idolatry, hiding, performance-based acceptance, contempt, addictions, isolation and re-abuse. How does God address shame in His word? How can I deal with shame?
Session 6: My Journey with Contempt
1 Samuel 1:1-20
Contempt is a godless antidote to shame, and it typically shows up in two different ways – contempt for self and contempt for others. The story of Hannah is examined in Session Six as an example of how contempt works to cover our shame, deaden our longings, and distract us from the real problem of sin. Examples are given of how contempt shows itself through comparison and in avoidance of relational closeness. The antidote to contempt is Godly sorrow, gratitude, and kindness. Are you aware of your contempt? Is it typically directed toward yourself or others?
Session 7: Relating to Others on My Journey
1 Corinthians 13:11-13, Isaiah 50:10-11
The goal of healing is to love God, others and ourselves from our heart. This is impossible as long as we hide behind childish ways of relating and protecting ourselves. Relational styles are built from the mortar of contempt and they are our way of making life work without God. Change happens when we see our sinful patterns, confess, and through the grace of God, make choices that reflect our repentance. What is your relational style?
Session 8: My Journey with Sexuality
Genesis 1:26-31, Genesis 2:15-18
The story of Adam and Eve is examined in order to understand God's design for mankind – that He created us, male and female, in His own image and it was a very good thing. Men and women, particularly those who have been abused, struggle to enjoy their sexuality. Session Eight explores what it looks like to embrace our masculinity and femininity, as well as what it means to live freely as men and women in healthy, intimate community with one another.