Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Humility, guilt and shame

Sometimes you hit a point in your life

where you just can't.

It is important to own your own mistakes, crucial not to blame-shift.

But the self-doubting, self-loathing, self-questioning.

Living in the aftermath of consequences hurts.  You see the damage; it reaches back and taunts you, and you long to make it right, but you have no idea how.  Mistakes.  Sin.  Missing the mark.

No idea how to fix it.  No answers, only questions and fears and accusations.

The staggeringly difficult work of discerning what is right, where do I need to repent, change, grow in humility?  And where is the devil at work accusing me?

I know he is at work accusing me, because I feel as though God doesn't love me.  That is how I feel, but that is a lie.

God loves me.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Even now as I type those precious words from Romans 8, I feel a sickening fear that they do not apply to me.  This sickening fear is not from God.  I know so, in my mind, but my heart quails in shame.

People are altogether untrustworthy.  People let us down all the time.  They misunderstand, prejudge, betray, reject and condemn.  This is the state of humanity.  Compassion, understanding, sympathy, loyalty and altruism are not the natural state of human nature.  People are untrustworthy, and they will let us down, disappoint us, devastate us.  They just do, most of the time without even meaning to.  Most of the time they are simply blinded by their own selfish perspectives, just as I am blinded by mine, and this is why we all need grace so desperately.  Jesus, please help us forgive one another, for You are faithful and good.

Oh, sweet Lord Jesus, please lead me in the truth.  Help me to discern Your steady voice amidst all the turmoil.  Help me to obey You and to be pleasing to You.  Thank you that You are trustworthy, You alone.  When nobody else will forgive, You do.  When nobody else can heal or restore, You can, and You do.

Lord Jesus, I entrust myself to Your gentle, compassionate work in my life.  Even though You are gentle and compassionate, the work of purifying a human soul cannot take place without pain.  Nevertheless, I entrust myself to You, because although there will be pain, You are in control of the pain, and You do not waste pain.  You do not willingly bring affliction or grief to men (Lamentations 3:33).  I trust You because You are faithful and good.  You have good plans and an inexorable purpose which You will accomplish for Your glory and for the benefit of Your people.

You are God.  You are good.  You love me.  This is truth.

You remember that we are dust (Psalm 103:14).  You forgive our sins and cleanse us from unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  You never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).  You will not reject us when we come to you (John 6:37). Your mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23), and thus You continue to work on us, picking us up, dusting us off, cleansing and binding up our wounds, improving us little by little, even when we stumble and backtrack along the way.

People expect us to be better than we can be.  People hold grudges against us for our failures, and sometimes simply over misunderstandings, refusing to forgive us.  People turn their backs on us and reject us.

Jesus doesn't.  Jesus is the friend who sticks closer than a brother (Romans 5:8-11).

Jesus treasures me so much that He poured out His own blood to secure my forgiveness and salvation.  Jesus walks with me through the valley of the shadow of death and encourages me to fear no evil.  Jesus anoints my head with oil and overflows my cup with blessings. (Psalm 23)

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  
May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.  
Romans 16:20 (NLT)

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with us all.
We need You, Jesus.
I need You, Jesus.
Thank You, Jesus.

1 comment:

Priscilla said...

Amen. Very uplifting words to me. Thank you.

You are going to get through this time of difficulty. Especially when you are choosing to listen to truth.