I’m sure you will agree with me when I say that is what religion feels like.
Do this, say that, don’t go that way.
Shame. On. You.
And that’s exactly what it feels like. I remember a time where I felt like I just couldn’t do enough of the right things for God.
Almost like a diet gone bad. I’ll be really good for a span of five days then BOOM! Out of nowhere I fall “off-the-wagon” and all you know what breaks loose.
Hey, your day is already shot…try again tomorrow.
Then you are in a constant state of guilt and shame because you just can’t get it right.
We’ve all been there.
That is what religion feels like to me.
What makes it worse is you see all of these people around you who act like they have it all together.
You aren’t helping anyone you heathens…(one of the reasons I started this blog).
All of this adds up and makes God almost seem inaccessible.
And that isn’t right. That’s not how it’s supposed to be.
I can’t imagine that’s how God intended it.
An offering of shame.
I’m rereading a book right now called “The Blessed: a sinner reflects on living the christian life.
I love this book! (book review to come soon).
And I’m at a point where the author reflects on past failings as a parent as she is sending her oldest off to college “I am rolling my eyes and sighing sighs of grave disappointment when he tells me he’s forgotten to do his science project for school, or worse, I’m in his face, spewing venomous reprimands over another lost library book.”
This bit got me to thinking; how often do we take all our failings and put them into a pitcher just to pour them out slowly over our heads once again?
We mess up once and forget something or things don’t turn out like we plan and then we have that inner dialogue running on repeat: “You stink at this parenting gig. You are a lousy human being. Why didn’t you see that coming? Why can’t you filter your words better? Aren’t my words a reflection of my heart? My heart must be black as coal. I might as well give up now. I fail at everything I attempt.”
Who’s with me on this?
Raise your hand if you too have swam in the scummy pond of insufficiency!
THERE IS SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW. (WE ALL NEED TO KNOW).
First know this: Satan is coming at you with a bunch of junk.
You heard me right.
All of that nonsense in your head that says you aren’t good enough is directly from the dark side.
The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. – John 10:10
You see…he’s trying to steal your joy, peace, and freedom.
Are you going to let him? Didn’t think so.
So let’s shake it off and move on…shall we?
Complete in our weakness.
Secondly, and I’m going to leap right in here; there is nothing you have to DO for God.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. – Ephesians 2:8-9
He loves you completely already.
Sure, you are going to mess up. You are human. We all have our snags and scars. But you know what? God wants you just as you are.
You aren’t perfect but Jesus is. He fills the parts of you that you can’t fill yourself. That’s why he died on the cross. To be everything that you can’t possibly be. With him we are complete.
Yea, when you mess something up He might look at you and shake his head. But what I believe He’s saying while he’s shaking his head is “He/She is mine and I love him/her even with his/her crazy quirks.”
He made you this way. He knows your weakness and I can tell you I’m pretty sure he’s glad you have them.
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. – 2 Corinthians 12:9A
Because of your weakness his power can shine!
A call to relationship.
Here is what we are going to do today:
We are going to throw off the shackles that chain us down,
Get rid of the shame and guilt and stop thinking we need to be perfect in order to come to God or for Him to love us,
and we are going to accept the freedom that comes from God releasing us from a prison of nonsense!
God simply wants a relationship with you.
He gave us free will because he wants us to want him.
He wants us to desire him and to need him.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me. -Revelation 3:20
He isn’t asking you to complete this task or that task before you come to him.
He simply wants you to talk to him, want him in your life, and grow with him.
Break free from those chains.
Break free from the mindset that God wants us to follow a bunch of rules and be perfect.
Here’s the steps:
-Come to God just as you are
-Ask him into your life
-Ask him to change your heart
-Accept his leading in your life and follow him
Then…leave the rest up to him.
Father, thank you for loving us completely just as we are. Thank you Lord that we can come to you in shackles, chains, shambles, scars, bumps, bruises and all. Lord, break my chains and set me free from the mindset I have and instead put into place a real relationship with you. You are my King; my father in heaven. I praise you Lord for desiring to simply be with me. Change my heart and guide me the rest of my days to be more like you.
In Jesus name, AMEN!