SERIES BIG IDEA:
The truth of who we are in Jesus removes our toxic shame and gives us courage to be honest with God, ourselves, and each other.
TEACHING BIG IDEA:
I am worthy enough to belong and be loved.
We continue to look at the power of shame. Toxic shame creates a deep sense that I am unloved and unaccepted because of something I’ve done, something done to me, or something associated with me. Most of us have experienced toxic shame. It makes us believe that we have no value or worth. The story traditionally known as the parable of “The Prodigal Son,” viewed through the lens of toxic shame, helps us to understand the power of shame. Both the younger brother, who squandered his inheritance, and the older brother, who tried to trust in his own righteousness to be accepted by his father, felt unworthy to be accepted by the father. When we feel unaccepted and unloved because of toxic shame, we can confidently put our hope in Jesus’ love for us. Toxic shame comes off when we see who we are in Jesus. We can turn to Jesus and receive His love because we are worthy of His love!
TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):
What is valuable to you? Think about how you spend your time and resources and try to be honest with your answer. What are ways that you can demonstrate what you really want to be of value to you?
Who is in your life that you really want to value you, but they don’t? What is it they do or don’t do that makes you feel that way? What have you done to try to prove your worth or value?
Based on reading Luke 15:20-32, what is valuable to God? What is the basis for God placing value? Could either of the sons in the story earn the love of their father?
Explain how toxic shame in your life may be keeping you from putting your hope in Jesus’ love for you. Can you turn toward Jesus and receive His love because of how God values you?
Based on how God values us and accepts us, how can we value and accept others? Our spouse? Our children? Our parents? Our supervisors? Our subordinates? Our co-workers? How about those we just don’t like?
Other Scriptures to Read:
- Romans 5:8
- Psalm 139:13-16
- Jeremiah 29:11
- Ephesians 2:8