The Missing Piece to the Shame Puzzle

Shame Puzzle

The Missing Piece to the Shame Puzzle

This is part five of a six part interview/overview of my book Healing the Hurts of Your Past conducted at radio with Mark Halverson. Click the links below to see the previous guides. Listen to the interview here.

This session turned the corner on our discussion as we started to look at how to overcome the pain of shame.   My book offers a different solution than a purely secular approach to shame. Secular approaches typically do a good job of identifying what shame is and offering ways to start processing it.

Brene Brown on Shame

Brene Brown’s book on shame

For example: Brene Brown’s book called I Thought it was Just Me. This is an excellent book that I highly recommend. Brene does a great job of using both her research and personal stories to explain what shame is and how to unmask it.  She doesn’t take a biblical approach (I wouldn’t expect her too since she is an academic reporting her research) but her research and teaching strongly back up biblical teaching. I’d love to talk to her about this some day.  Her insights into relationships, connection, compassion and courage will help anyone seeking to crawl out of the pain of shame.


The Gold Standard of Self-Esteem

But…having said that… I still think there is a piece missing from the shame puzzle.  What I talked about on the radio program was “the gold standard” that backs up our statements, such as “you are valuable”. The problem I have with most self-esteem teaching is that it isn’t rooted in anything. We tell people, “Don’t listen to what people say…YOU ARE VALUABLE! YOU ARE A WINNER! YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!”  My question to that is…Who says? YOU say that. Who are you?  You might be wrong.

It’s like our currency. I have two pieces of paper in front of me. One is an actual twenty-dollar bill. The other is a green slip of paper. I say they are both worth $20. That’s nice. But who am I to make that declaration?  Stores dont’ care what I say. They care what the government says.

The government backs up the worth of the twenty-dollar bill  (it was originally backed up by gold, hence the term, “gold standard”).  The government can point to their paper and say, “We declare that paper valuable. We created it and we back it up.” But they can’t say the same for my alternative piece of paper. My word means nothing.  The point is; value comes from people who can back it up. Not just wishful thinking.  Watch a two-minute tv interview using this analogy.

God Defines Our Worth

In the same way, the “gold standard” for self-esteem is the word of God (if you believe in God and the Bible as his word to us). The Bible tells us that God created us in his image. You can’t get any more valuable than that. The Bible also tells us that God came to earth in the person of Jesus and laid down his life out of love for us. Again, we MUST be valuable for God to do that. That’s our gold standard. That’s what we stand on. Don’t take my word for it!  Who am I?  Take God’s word that you are valuable!  It doesn’t matter what others say about you.

If you worked your way through my book and Brene Brown’s book you will have a great package to help you overcome the pain of shame.  My book will help you identify the lies you are believing about your worth (and where they came from) and help you hear from God the truth of your value. Brene’s book will help you identify your shame as well but she offers steps for people to start to tell their story and create connection with other people (connection being the opposite of the isolation that shame produces).

This is just a taste of what the radio show was about. I hope you’ll take the time to download the MP3 and listen to it.  Please forward this on to others on Facebook and Twitter. I’m sure there are people hungry to hear how valuable they are.

  • The Spiritual Implications of Brene Brown’s TED Talk on Vulnerability (
  • How to find Self-Worth Apart From Your Performance: TV interview (

6 thoughts on “The Missing Piece to the Shame Puzzle

  1. Pingback: Delete, Discredit or Dialogue. Which Do You Do? | F. Remy Diederich

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  3. Pingback: The Spiritual Implications of Brene Brown’s TED Talk on Vulnerability | F. Remy Diederich

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