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Tag Archives: guilt

Pastoral Burnout and Self-Compassion

A study conducted out of Duke University, published in 2011, looked at the four primary factors of why clergy burnout: Desire to please others. Fear of letting parishioners down or not living up to their expectations can leave clergy depleted….Clergy high in desire to please neglect their hobbies, families, and spirituality, fear letting down congregants, and have a hard time saying no to requests. Clergy low in desire to please reserve time for their personal lives without feeling selfish or anxious about disappointing others. Guilt or shame proneness. Overall, “shame is considered the more painful emotion because one’s core self—not simply one’s behavior—is at stake”. Self-compassion. Self-compassion entails offering kindness, patience, and understanding to oneself during times of failure or disappointment. Individuals high in self-compassion recognize that others go through similar experiences and feel connected rather than isolated during times of pain. (They) neither ignore nor ruminate about their own shortcomings. Differentiation of self from role Beebe (2007) found. Read more.

Pastoral Burnout and Self-Compassion

A study conducted out of Duke University, published in 2011, looked at the four primary factors of why clergy burnout: Desire to please others. Fear of letting parishioners down or not living up to their expectations can leave clergy depleted….Clergy high in desire to please neglect their hobbies, families, and spirituality, fear letting down congregants, and have a hard time saying no to requests. Clergy low in desire to please reserve time for their personal lives without feeling selfish or anxious about disappointing others. Guilt or shame proneness. Overall, “shame is considered the more painful emotion because one’s core self—not simply one’s behavior—is at stake”. Self-compassion. Self-compassion entails offering kindness, patience, and understanding to oneself during times of failure or disappointment. Individuals high in self-compassion recognize that others go through similar experiences and feel connected rather than isolated during times of pain. (They) neither ignore nor ruminate about their own shortcomings. Differentiation of self. Read more.

Shame and Leadership

Marjorie Thompson, in The Way of Forgiveness (Upper Room Books), distinguishes between guilt and shame.  She notes that guilt is about what we have done (“I did something bad”) while shame is about who we are (“I am bad”). Recognizing we’ve made a mistake, i.e. guilt, is very different from believing we are a mistake, i.e. shame. This led me, this past year and a half, into an exploration into shame –in Scripture, in my own life, in conversations with seasoned therapists, and to researchers of shame like Brene Brown. Shame is cruel. Like a hidden taskmaster, it drives us to overachieve, overwork, overcompensate, and protect ourselves with a face that is not our own. Shame is, at its essence, demonic. We can’t lead well without resisting the shame-based messages that come to us from the culture, our churches, our failures, and inside our own head. We can’t lead well when we feel deeply flawed. Read more.

Fast Faith and Fast Leadership

Malcolm Muggeridge argued that, if Jesus was alive today, there may have been a fourth temptation. It is the temptation to a fast faith and a fast leadership. He describes it like this: One day a Roman tycoon named Lucius hears Jesus preaching in Galilee and is very impressed. “This Jesus has star potential. He could be a superstar!” He tells his representatives to “puff Jesus,” then bring him to Rome – along with the John the Baptist guy. Lucius promises: “I’ll put him on the map, launch him off to a tremendous career as a worldwide evangelist. I’ll spread his teaching throughout the civilized world and beyond. He’d be crazy to turn it down! Instead of a ragtag lot following him from Galilee, everyone will know him.” Jesus, of course, says no and is dismissed as irrelevant. “Away from me, Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only’”. Read more.

Lance Armstrong, Grace, and Repentance

Lance Armstrong’s public apology this past week drew severe criticism for being incomplete, tentative, evasive, and lacking in true remorse. Yes, he admitted some things, but he still seemed to be spinning. Most people were unimpressed. I related to Lance Armstrong and was impressed. Why? I understand something of the deep, cunning nature of sin in my own life and the long process and stages of repentance. I also understand a little about the challenge to distinguish the complex, interior movements of my own heart. Tyler Hamilton, his former friend and teammate, reminds us of his own journey in coming clean. He too lived years of denial and lies around his use of performance-enhancing drugs. “When I first started telling the truth, it came out like water trickling out of a faucet,” Hamilton said. He talked about his early stages of admitting his guilt — the pain, the incompleteness, and the slow and brutal. Read more.

Shame, Guilt, and Leadership

How much of our leadership is actually driven by guilt and shame? In broad terms, shame has to do with feeling about who we are; guilt is related to our feelings about what we do. They both rob us of the profound experience that we are God’s beloved children. We may feel deep, hidden shame about who we are because of addictive behaviors or dysfunctional choices. We may feel shame due to negative messages from our family of origin – “You are no good.” “You’re a loser.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” Then there is the shaming nature of so much Western Christianity. As one author said, “My very being was so sinful that God himself was enraged.” She recognized later that she was trying to repent her way out of what she thought was guilt. Some of us don’t need to repent. We need to be rescued from our shame. Ask the Lord to. Read more.