For those who shame-whip themselves

affection

What if instead of berating ourselves for our failures and sins and besetting weaknesses, we remember that the sweetness of God informs our worth? What if instead of thinking, “God must be angry at me for all my struggles,” we think, “I am utterly grateful that He sees me as his beloved daughter/son. Nothing I do or don’t do changes His great affection for me.”

This is a game changer for me. Because my pattern has constantly been to knock myself over the head when I’ve failed, to yell at me like an angry, out of control coach, and offer me no grace.

Who is that like? Is that like God? Would He do that?

Of course He disciplines us. Of course He loves us too much to let us flounder in our mess. But all that discipline comes from a cheering heart and a desire to actually EMPOWER us in our weaknesses. Our weaknesses then become a dance floor for Him to dance His steps.

Satan, however, wants to knock us down, brutalize our thoughts, make us feel small and petty and awful. He thrives when we give into this. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy us. And our weakness and sin are open doorways to capitalize on this. And when we give in to that shaming voice again

and again

and again

and again

it becomes the truth (even if it’s a lie) that we believe like gospel.

That we are unworthy.

That we will never change.

That our sins are what define us forever and eternity.

That we are bound to live in shame, shackled to it indefinitely.

The beautiful truth: weakness is where God works best. Your lack is merely and truly the most amazing place God can work His miracles. So instead of beating yourself up over your mess, just admit it. In so doing, you diffuse the worth-killing voices in your head and you usher in the bigness and strength of God.

Like this:

Jesus, I blew it. I’m sorry. In fact, I am sorry I keep blowing it. But I’m tired of tossing myself under the bus when I do. So this time would You rescue me from the shaming bus? Would You show me that You love me, that You will renew me, that You will protect me? I choose to believe the truth today that You are FOR me. Instead of hitting myself repeatedly when I fall down, let me listen to Your cheerleading voice. In no way does this diminish my need to repent. Nor does it mean I take sin casually. No. It simply means I am changing the way I deal with the aftermath of my confessed sin. I am resting in Your great affection, just as my children can rest in knowing my love for them is constant. Take away the shame. Take away the depressive thoughts. Take away the feeling that I’m not worth Your love. Replace all those things with the truth of Your love. Amen.

 

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