Two of the most important concepts in Christian living involve shame.
These are difficult concepts for American Christians to fully grasp, however, because of our limited understanding of the concept of shame. Our sense of honor and disgrace has been so colored by a broadening individualism that when a member of society does something contrary to social norms we often don’t know whether to applaud their uniqueness or condemn their behavior. Our collective list of taboos has been shrinking.
But, shame has been and still is an incredible important cultural motivator in much of the world. So called “honor killings” in Muslim societies, in which family members murder fellow family members who have brought shame on the family name, illustrate the concept in an extreme way. The principle, though, runs deep in many cultures, and still maintains a small foothold in the Western world. We still teach our kids that what they do reflects on their family, on their parents, on their church and their school. Continue reading