Shame and Restoration in Ezekiel
There is a distinct difference between the modern individualistic concept of “guilt or innocent” in a person’s behaviour and repentance, and the biblical motif of shame and honour in the book of Ezekiel. The former seeks to excuse one’s behaviour and related consequences. The second seeks restoration of relationship by dealing with deeper heart issues, and obtaining a new moral self that will not repeat the harmful behaviour. This has implications for ministry today. We need to be aware of Ezekiel’s cycle of restoration to empower a deeper relationship with God, and with other humans. Restoration and healing can only happen when we acknowledge that our behaviour has caused shame to God and humans, and by taking back that shame we enable honour to come on the injured party, who can then share that honour with us.
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