I remember when I was a freshman in High School, and the excitement that came over me the day that my parents told me that they were renting an international cell phone for me to use FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY while I was in Australia on a missions trip.
Now, I know that pretty much every cell phone has international capabilities now, and I’m not sure that “renting” cellphones is even a thing anymore, but work with me here.. 🙂
I was SO excited to have my own cellphone for this once in a lifetime trip. So excited, in fact, that I called all of my friends while I was in Australia to tell them how awesome the trip was, and roughly $450.00 in phone charges later… my parents were furious.
When is the last time your kid really messed up? Whatever it was that they did, there’s a good chance that you said something to them. Like any good parent, you probably corrected the bad behavior because you want them to grow up to be responsible, capable adults. And even if your student pretended not to listen or pretended not to care, you may have a sneaking suspicion that he or she really did feel bad about the whole thing. They felt guilty.
And you know, there’s a big difference between guilt and shame. Guilt helps us recognize that we’ve done something wrong, and the strong, uncomfortable emotion of guilt can assist a student in remembering to act differently next time. But as helpful as it may seem in the moment, guilt also has a dark side. For students, it’s easy to move from believing they did something bad (guilt) to believing they are something bad (shame).
This week, we are beginning a new series titled, “Shameless.” During Shameless we will discuss how God feels about us, no matter our mistakes (week one), the lies that we all tend to believe about ourselves (week two), and we’ll wrap up in week three discussing how to treat others around us, regardless of our differences.
I have been looking forward to this series for a few months now, and can’t wait for your student to be a part of it! Please let me or your students Small Group Leader know if there is anything that we can do to better partner with your family!
Student Ministries Director