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:
Jesus uses His Church to help restore people’s identity through love and by revealing they have a place to belong.
Toxic shame creates a deep sense that we are unloved and unaccepted because of something we’ve done, something done to us, or something associated with us. Toxic shame can come from our own sin, from our failure and weakness, from the sins of other people, and from other people’s failures and weaknesses. Since toxic shame can destroy our true identity that can only be found in Jesus, Jesus uses His Church to restore people’s identity through love and by revealing that they have a place to belong. The Church is made of many parts, all of them being important. Comparing ourselves to others who have a different role and function can lead to toxic shame and feeling like we don’t belong. The church helps deal with toxic shame by being a community in which we can belong. Each follower of Jesus is needed in a unique way, thus showing everyone’s significance through equal concern. We can all be proud of our part in the Church, regardless of our performance. We are loved because of who we are, not because of what we do.
TALK IT OVER (Discuss One or More):
In thinking about toxic shame, where does it come from? Can you share an example from your life or from the life of someone you know?
What are examples in our society where we compare ourselves to others? Explain how comparing can lead to toxic shame. How can this lead to a feeling that we don’t belong?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:21-25. If you had to choose a part of the human body that you most identify with, what would it be? Why? Explain the importance of that particular part of the body. If that part of the body were injured how would it affect the rest of the body?
How can the church restore our identity? How is Jesus involved?
What are ways we can show others that they are loved for who they are, and not for what they do?
Other Scriptures to Read:
- Joel 2:25-26
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- Colossians 3:14-16
- 1 Corinthians 12:12