I do plan to get back to the discipline series, because there is more to say there. And I thought I'd tie in this week's Grace on a Thursday by talking about how important understanding and using grace in our discipline is. But I can't ever seem to force my words into a box, even when it's a good plan, when they just won't go.
Instead, I need to go deeper today. If you don't want to go there too, then just sit this one out. But I know I have to, and there must be a reason.
I heard a definition on the radio that got me. It was merely a snippet. But I heard the speaker say, "Shame is the fear of being unlovable."
Really? I thought. Is that in fact what it is? Because I think a lot about shame, guilt, and the other really common weeds in our hearts whose roots seem to touch everything else. And as I dug down inside myself, I started to agree. Shame comes when we make mistakes and we decide those things make us less lovable.
Fact is I am not aware that I am making a decision, an agreement, if you will, in allowing shame in. I'm connecting wrong dots: making the mistake equals being less lovable. It's a connection based on a lie. And this beautifully crafted though insidious lie laughs in the face of God and WHO HE IS:
God is Love.
His nature, His being shouts LOVE.
But shame says "Yes, I know, but that's not for me."
You'd never know it by looking at me. Well, you sorta do look at me, through this bloggy window. I'd bet some of you think I have it all together. That I wake up full of joy everyday ready to cook, clean, craft and hug everyone in my path. I WISH. Really, I so wish it were that easy. But some days, I'm so melancholy, I can't accomplish anything. Some days, I can't pull out one generous word to give my husband; we get lost in logistics and the business of life. Sometimes, I hate cooking, and nothing inspires me. It's okay to feel those things sometimes, of course. But for me, I know that at times, the roots of those kinds of "bad days" are because I'm getting tangled up in the enemy's lies. Wondering what's wrong with me. Feeling weighed down, empty, and unloved. Unlovable.
Sometimes I fold those fears up and tuck them away like out of season clothes shoved into the dark recess of my closet. They aren't healed. The lies aren't broken. Just buried. In my everyday relationships with other women, I can sometimes see another's shame tucked away. She doesn't even know it's there anymore. She doesn't recognize how the roots touch everything else.
Shame is the fear of being unlovable.
Thank God we have grace this Thursday, ready to take a hatchet to those lies and a bright light to those fears tucked away in darkness.
Go there with me. Pull out the worst, oldest things. Things you are quite sure mean you will be loved less. I'm not even going to give examples. The reason we know what those things are is because the Accuser brings them up to us all the time. Take some time and draw near to God. Expose those things to grace: it is the favor we don't deserve. Giant, powerful, life-changing favor. His word says that because of what Jesus has done for us, by paying for our sin and shame on the cross, we can confidently approach the throne of grace.
Grace is the only remedy. No substitute or counterfeit salve can truly bring healing.
Now go here with me:
Nothing I can do or ever will do could make God love me less.
Nothing will keep Him from singing for joy over me.
Nothing I do in weakness will ever come close to reversing what He's done in strength.
My Heavenly Father is bursting with love for me. And that's the way it's gonna stay.