Category: Relationships

Understanding Guilt, Shame, and Fear Cultures

“We have to reckon with three different types of reactions to transgressions of religiously sanctioned codes: fear, shame, and guilt.” (Eugene Nida, Customs and Cultures [1954], p. 150)Christian missiologists identify three responses to sin in human cultures: guilt, shame, and fear.
Posted in Communication, Culture, Honor, Missiology, Relationships Tagged with: , , , – A New Tool

To make it easier for people to learn about Honor-Shame cultures, I have developed: is a free assessment tool for learning your group’s culture type – guilt, shame, or fear.  It is like a personality test, but for groups
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7 Subcultures of Shame in America

Shame is a dominant moral emotion in many pockets of American society.  These subcultures use public praise and scorn to regulate behavior.  In such groups, a person’s reputation is determined by their ability to meet the group expectations, the unwritten
Posted in Culture, News, Relationships, Shame, Spirituality Tagged with: , ,

The Cost of (Unequal) Wealth

The facts are in regarding economic inequality. It exists!In America, the top 1% own 33% of the wealth in America, the next 9% own another third, and the bottom 90% of Americans own the final 33% of wealth.  (The bottom
Posted in Culture, Honor, In The News, Relationships, Shame, Spirituality Tagged with: , ,

How Paying Money Honors (and Shames)

Does Paying Money Honor or Dishonor?In 1969, the St. Louis Cardinals traded their All-Star center fielder, Curt Flood, to the Phillies.  During the days before free agency, MLB players were owned by one team for life.  Instead of reporting to
Posted in Culture, Honor, Ministry, Missiology, Relationships, Spirituality Tagged with: , ,

Why Shame is a HUGE Problem

Imagine the following scenarios: You have labored for two years developing an English program to reach the community.  When your director visits, he dismisses the purpose and value of the English ministry. You look out your front window, and see two neighbor
Posted in Honor, Relationships, Sin, Theology Tagged with: , , ,

The Father – Lk 15 (2)

Just as the community surrounded the younger son, the father came out of his house, jumped the hedge, and sprinted through the village, yelling, “My son! My son!”  Everybody watched in shock.  Everybody eyes were on the father now, not
Posted in NT, Relationships, Shame, Theology Tagged with: , , , ,

How Stories Change Honor Codes (III)

The two previous posts “How Stories Change Honor Codes” (here and here) examine how narratives can subvert and reorient a person’s honor code.  We talked about honor codes in the general and abstract.  How can they, on the whole, be reoriented
Posted in Culture, Ministry, Missiology, Relationships, Spirituality Tagged with: , , ,

Understanding 8 Traits of HonorShame Cultures

Honor and shame is the soil bed in which various cultural traits grow.  In this post I mention eight cultural phenomena embedded in honor-shame values, and explain why those traits are associated with honor-shame.  If you fail to understand the subsurface connection,
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How to Despise Shame

What did Jesus do to shame? He despised it.  “For the joy set before Him, (Jesus) endured the cross, despising the shame.” (Heb 12:2)de●spise – to intensely dislike, to regard with contempt.Though shame threatens to make us despicable, we must declare shame despicable. 
Posted in Ministry, Relationships, Spirituality Tagged with: ,

How HS Cultures Dialogue (II)

How do we as Christians respond to verbal duels for honor? The  previous blog introduced ‘verbal jousting’; this blog explores practical ‘fencing moves’ for Christian workers in HonorShame contexts.  Once I learned about verbal jousting, I recognized it often (especially
Posted in Communication, Culture, Ministry, Relationships, Shame Tagged with: , , ,

How HS Cultures Dialogue (I)

We were having visa problems, so I went with our administrator to the government office for a meeting.  While there, our administrator noticed one of her former students interning for the government official.  So to score a few social points,
Posted in Communication, Culture, Relationships

How to Demolish Shame

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”  The Judaizers in Galatia considered themselves God’s unique people –the descendants of Abraham – by virtue of their ethnic distinctives, like circumcision.  Based on this
Posted in NT, Relationships, Shame, Theology

5 Keys for Relationships in HonorShame Contexts

Relationships are paramount in honor-shame cultures.  Who you know is more important than what you know. Everything happens through family, neighbors, or acquaintances. These five relational keys are the unwritten rules of social interactions in honor-shame contexts.1. Give giftsWhen I
Posted in Culture, Ministry, Relationships, Uncategorized