Originally published Wednesday, 24 February 2016.
Some mornings, I wake up to words of self-defeat:
You are a failure.
Your kids don't love you.
You better do better.
My own ablities seem to convict me. I don't play enough with my kids. I don't handle things right. I don't do good enough at work. I am bound to mess up.
Do you hearing the voice of not enough too?
Not enough at work? Not enough with your family?
Not enough with your friends? Not enough of anything?
These feelings highlight failure, underline discouragement and seem to cross out progress with God. They bring to life our worst attributes in a way where we can forget that Christ's blood already covered them.
Failure loves to try to define our future.
This thought made me sit upright at the prospect of something deeper a nugget: If our thoughts are trying to kill relationship, rather than build relationship, they probably are not from God. This truth hit me like a lightbulb.
Then, I started to think:
The devil wants to make our perceived failure into our destined future.
He wants to hand us an eternal label that says, "Unstable and liable to fail."
He wants to rip apart our families with the lie, that things can't change.
He is active and working to take the one small thing that bothers us, that sits on us heavy and to drive it into us with the force of a sledgehammer, as he says, "You stink and can't ever be better."
This message always leads us to do one of three things:
1. Give up because we know how worthless we are.
2. Get mad at others because we feel angry that they are making us be this way.
3. Overdo it by being too involved, controlling or overbearing.
That evening, I decided to take a step back from my own personal truth, to see actual truth for what it is:
I sometimes get tired of playing, but this does not make me a bad mom.
Even when I completely trip up, this doesn't mean Christ loves me any less.
Even when I start thinking bad thoughts, this doesn't mean Jesus won't help me going forward.
What is your truth?
Relieving myself of the immediate high-tension pressure leaves me room to consider. It leaves room for me to love myself and him without getting burned. Stepping back leaves room for God to starve the bad and to feed me the good.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. Jo. 15:13
The love of Christ leaves us, always, more than okay; it can't go anywhere on the children of God. It always sees, always cares and always endures.
Shame has no place in the center of Christ's love.
Shame can't exist in the presence of Christ's patience.
Shame can't grow amidst self-forgiveness.
And, so we look at ourselves and say, "If Christ can love me like this, I guess I can love me too." For, how can we really love, if we don't have a base of love to work from?
'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:31
If I find his love in me, Christ's love will work through me - and in the process set me free.
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