I would like to think of the shame beast as a messenger from Satan because well it might actually be. The shame beast is definitely not working on God’s side that’s for sure. That must mean the church should be fighting it. So I would like to ponder how the church can fight the shame beast?
Well of course there is prayer but I mean to ponder the question more deeply by asking how can a Christian community rally around someone to help fight the shame beast rather that being the source of shaming someone. For instance, let say some brave soul is at a bible study and they feel convicted by the fact that they are struggling with sexual temptation. So as a brave warrior they tell the group I am struggling with lust.
Now a couple of things could happen. Everyone could turn around to stare at the individual, turn there noses to the air and say how dare you, you horrible sinner. They give this sinner a slap on the hand. Stop doing that bad bad bad lust of yours. Let’s just say this community introduced the shame beast and tried to marry the two individuals. This is not ok at ALL!
On the other hand, let’s say the person shares there struggle with lust and someone says. You know what I am struggling also. I am actually working with a pastor right now. Would you like me to introduce you? Similarly the group could give positive reinforcement to the individual by saying thank you for sharing and reinforcing that it was brave for them to share their struggle. Now this community just kicked the shame beast to the curb.
Shame does not teach people how to turn from sin. It only keeps them more entrenched in chains. Similarly talking about the things that are shaming you in a safe community is what starts the process of breaking the chains. The church should be an expert on kicking the shame beast out the door. I would say it is one of the most essential roles of Christian community. Let’s all learn to do a better job of fighting this ugly beast. Amen.