Ed Welch is one of my favorite Christian authors. Two of his books, Running Scared and When People Are Big and God is Small are among those I recommend everyone read. He has an ability to show us how problems like fear and peer pressure are more universal than we might think, then explain how the Bible speaks to those situations far better than any earthly wisdom we might find.
I expected the same from Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection. And while I still highly recommend this book, I don’t know if it will benefit everyone in quite the same way his other books will.
Welch shows how the cross of Christ takes us from a place of dishonor and shame to a place of honor and glory. God’s love and forgiveness transforms us from naked to clothed, unclean to holy, and outcast to beloved. He reminds us that Christ’s death and resurrection is our only hope. True freedom does not come when we seek honor for ourselves, but when we seek to honor the only One who is worthy of honor. Welch also shows how the cross is not only the solution to shame brought upon us by our own sin, but the shame we feel when others sin against us. This is counterintuitive to anything the world teaches.
Many helpful and biblically sound books have been written in the past decade to help people mired down by worry and depression. One of the sad ironies, though, is that people going through a time of darkness can find these books overwhelming. This book avoids that problem. Welch’s tone throughout is extremely sympathetic and encouraging, and you can tell this is very much one beggar telling another where he found bread. Even though this book is a little on the long side (325 pages), the chapters are short and simply written.
But the book’s greatest strength might in some cases be a weakness. People who read the book to help and understand a loved one might feel like they have to wade through too much “hey, I’ve been there myself” to pick out the jewels. Since those readers are in the minority, though, I don’t consider that a problem. It is more important that the book minister to those in the throes of crippling shame than those on the outside, anyway.
The tone of this book is more pastoral and personal than I remember from any of Welch’s past books. Since that will help those who most need it, though, it’s a good thing.
A free copy of this book was provided for review. This review reflects my honest opinion.