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Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection Paperback – April 30, 2012
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This is more than an important and redemptive book; it is a labor that could open the field of counseling, soul care, and pastoral work to a vital reformation that comes when one has cut open a path that has laid dormant for too long. --Dan B. Allender, PhD, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Founding President The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology; author of The Wounded Heart: Help for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse
Dr. Ed Welch is one of my favorite authors. His work is biblical, practical, helpful, insightful, and hopeful. This book on shame is one I will be buying many copies of and giving away. --Pastor Mark Driscoll, Mars Hill Church; Acts 29 Network; Resurgence
Many today are stained by a crushing sense of being not good enough - worthy only of rejection. Ed Welch understands the shame-based person so fluently that it is easy to forget that he is a professional counselor and theologian. He writes more like a friend and fellow sufferer, so his counsel is richly biblical and practical. This book filled me with confidence in the cleansing, adopting, and sanctifying work of the cross. --Tara Klena Barthel, Author of Living the Gospel in Relationships and co-author of Peacemaking Women, and Redeeming Church Conflicts
Ed Welch finds us hiding in our shame and draws us out to be re-clothed by Christ. He surprises us again with the deep relevance of God's Word - even Leviticus - to the secret fears that dominate our daily lives. This brutally honest book is for every one. --Mike Wilkerson, Pastor and Director of Biblical Counseling at Mars Hill Church; Author, Redemption: Freed by Jesus from the Idols We Worship and the Wounds We Carry.
Shame is everywhere. It is obvious on the faces of those who have been abused. But because of sin, it lies in the depths of every human heart. Ed Welch shines the light of the gospel of Christ into the dynamics of shame, and explains how it is overcome in the honor Christ obtained for us through his identification with our shame on the cross. --Eric Johnson, Lawrence and Charlotte Hoover Professor of Pastoral Care, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; Director of the Society for Christian Psychology
About the Author
Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He has counseled for thirty years and is the best-selling author of many books including When People Are Big and God Is Small; Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave; Blame It on the Brain?; Depression: A Stubborn Darkness; Crossroads: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Addiction; Running Scared: Fear, Worry, and the God of Rest; and When I Am Afraid: A Step-by-Step Guide Away from Fear and Anxiety. He and his wife Sheri have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and four grandchildren.
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Ed Welch's book offers THE CURE. It is through Christ that our sin is washed away and also our shame. For the first time I see what that truly means and can really grip it. To understand that Christ's walk to the cross was the vanquishing of my shame has illuminated a freedom that I have never known before. It is nothing short of miraculous. Indeed, I feel like the woman in the Gospels who was living her life with a crippled back that was bent over and Christ has healed me and empowered me to finally stand up straight pain free.
I highly recommend everyone read this book but particularly those who are victims of sexual abuse. Shame from that abuse is exceptionally pervasive. It coats every aspect of your life in its creeping black mold--or possibly more accurately, emotional leprosy. I finally understand how Jesus came particularly to heal the outcast leper so they can be clean--meaning they can enjoy relationship with other people. But way beyond that, He makes us holy--able to belong to God and enjoy relationship with Him. He doesn't just remove our shame, He delights in us. He honors us with the ring on the finger, royal robe and killing the fatted calf for us. He rejoices over us. The God who knows every square inch of us rejoices over us. Friends, there's no greater joy than that.
I have described this book as sitting in a counselor's office after having poured out my heart to him/her (which I have been doing lately). But instead of just listening, the counselor stops me and defines me. All my problems, hurts, etc., are simply shame. He defines different types of shame and helps me see myself. Then he goes on to teach me about the Bible. He makes connections in scripture, especially passages I've known all my life, and demonstrates how I can be seen in the passage. I see Jesus as I should now. For the longest time I would have people counsel me "Preach the gospel to yourself. You know the truth." Sure I did. But that didn't change the fact that I still believed myself to be unworthy. I knew my guilt before God. I knew how to handle that. But I never knew what to do with the childhood memories when even bad things that happened TO me were also my fault. I've learned they aren't. Someone finally took the little girl inside me and told me those were things for which Jesus also died. And they weren't my fault. The author got personal at times but he was right. It's taken me 4 weeks to read this book. If you asked my family, it's made a dramatic impact on me in that time.
I think I'm beginning to understand that other people do not always carry the same amount of shame I have carried. I am a very emotional person. I feel deeply. Hurt, embarrassment, shame? Well, they dug down deep in there. I still have mistakes and embarrassed that happened as a child that I remember like yesterday. And I want to hide because of it. That is shame. But I am learning to believe truth now. It's a daily battle and the enemy hates me, so it's not easy. But this book has brought all of that into perspective and taught be a better way. And it's deeply Biblical. He just helped my visual mind see it so I could understand it. Telling me doesn't often help. But showing me through illustration or stories, I'm hooked.
I suppose if you see yourself in my words this book is for you. But really, I think everyone should read it. Why? Because there is bound to be someone in your life that as you read you will see clearly why they say things and act the way they do. If you struggle to grasp the love of Jesus, this book is for you. If you want a deeper understanding of human nature and God's response to it, this book is for you.
One final "who is this book for" comment. I've wondered if this wouldn't also make a great read for someone seeking to know more about Jesus or maybe someone who grew up in the church and that is where they experienced their greatest amount of shame; now they've walked away from their faith. Honestly, I often think that only by God's grace am I still a believer. Some of my greatest shame was suffered in the walls of the church. And although I no longer believe it, for many years I blamed myself. It had been my fault for what happened. I don't think that anymore. I've learned to confess my part, forgive, and let it go. I've learned to trust what the Father says about Himself. It's not about me. And really, I no longer want it to be.
Read it slowly. Dig into the scripture he gives you. Ponder the Biblical stories he uses and tells in a different light. Put yourself in those stories.
I'm am sure this book won't be for everyone. God may not use it the same way He did for me. But there might be someone you know and love that will benefit. I pray it will be impactful for someone and the Lord will use it to set others free.
One final thought. I've never been much of a Bible reader. I've wanted to be. The more I have read through this book, the more I want to dig into the Word. I guess maybe just understanding some of the gospel stories and passages a little better has moved me to dig more. Or maybe it's just simply that I finally allowed myself to believe God and trust the Holy Spirit to do what he's supposed to do.