My Review: “Unashamed” by Christine Caine
Unlearning years of shame and self-doubt is a process many with church backgrounds are used to. Maybe you realized the negative grip of shame yourself, or maybe you haven’t quite put a name to the reason you feel you don’t have a right to exist in a space. Wherever you are on your journey, this study will meet you there. “Unashamed” offers tactful teaching on an issue that plagues those from both religious and non-religious backgrounds. I had the chance review this new study from Christine Caine and I’m here to share my thoughts with you.
*The study was given to me for free to review by my affiliate, Church Source. Using my links to purchase or read about the study lets them know you heard about it from me. Thank you!
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Breaking Down the Material
Unashamed is a group study in five sessions from the talented pastor and leader, Christine Caine. If you’ve read her book, then you probably know the reasons she feels so passionately about teaching freedom from oppressive shame. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have read her book to enjoy this expanded study.
- Check out the original book, “Unashamed” on Amazon!
The study comes in two parts: a workbook and a DVD of video content. Both are used to guide groups of any size (or even individuals) through the material. The design allows for flexibility so if you want to work through at your own pace you can. Groups meeting for fellowship or Sunday School could easily break it down into manageable chunks for different periods of time. I’d recommend an hour per each session for discussion, note-taking, and revelations.
Putting a Name on Shame
Talking with women who feel burned by religion, I’ve started to see a trend. For myself and many others, the feeling of having no space to exist within our faith is crippling and leads to severe self-doubt. The oppression women experience from being told they are lesser, weaker, and being denied representation, education, and equality all comes with a nice little bow called shame.
Shame is that tucked-chin emotion that blazes across your body when someone screams you down with calls of “Jezebel” or crackles beneath your skin when someone implies you are less of an image bearer than a man. Once we acknowledge that feeling and call it what it is, we can begin to unpack why we feel it, what causes it, and what God has to say about its presence in our lives. Unashamed walks you through a healthy way of acknowledging shame in your life and making room for God to work in the areas that are revealed.
Not Just For Christian Feminists
Shame comes in many forms, which is something this study has taught me. It spoke to me on many levels from a place of healing and reconciliation. That being said, not everyone is on the same path or open to the same interpretations. I believe people from all walks could learn something from Christine’s words, not just Christian Feminist women. I would recommend it to anyone who feels/has felt crippled by feelings of inadequacy, self-loathing, or doubt.
If you’re familiar with and love the work of Dr. Brené Brown, you will love this study. To get a taste of what all this talk about shame and vulnerability means for our lives, I recommend Dr. Brown’s famous Ted Talks on the subject.
The most important thing going through this study taught me was that shame is something everyone feels. Listening to Christine share her stories in the videos and being prompted by her questions in the book, I explored my own roots of shame. It teaches you to separate guilt and embarrassment from shame. It also teaches that shame does not come from God. While we often associate shame with the judgemental eyes of church elders (and that lady from Game of Thrones), the truth is that shame is not something God uses against us.
Think of the creation story. Adam and Eve began to feel shame only after sin had entered the world. It was not with them in the garden before. It entered as a snake in the grass. Their response? Hiding from God.
That was a revelation for me. My internalized feelings of shame caused me to flee the healing embrace of God. Once you come to terms with how that is impacting your life, it opens the door for buckets of restoration. I’m nowhere near done with this study because I feel that I still need Christine’s council, questions, and affirming words. It’s something you can easily go back to for further study or a gentle pick-me-up when needed.
Try it Yourself! Let me know what you learn.
You can order your copy of the “Unashamed” book and DVD via my affiliate, Church Source. Let me know if you’ve used it already, what you learned, and how you liked it in the comment section! Don’t forget to share with all your friends who might need new material for their group studies.