Lately, I've been dealing a lot with shame. It's been a heavy lie on my heart. It would cloud my own judgment and take opportunities from me. I couldn't shake the feeling. I couldn't forgive myself.
Beautiful and exciting things have been happening to me: opportunities would come before me, exciting events were happening, and people have been so kind, complimenting me; yet, no matter how genuine these events may have been, I simply couldn't accept them.
I'm not going to lie, I am insecure. Aren't you? Maybe it's just me, but it's been hard lately. From the moment I start my day, I become hyper-aware of my actions, my thoughts, my tone, etc. And while it's good to be self-aware, it's not healthy to be a perfectionist. I just wanted to avoid the shame that would come after messing up, but at one point it was eating me up.
What is grace?
Pastor Michael Todd of Transformation Church put it this way: "The unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor and kindness of God." When I first came across his "Grace Like a Flood" series, I didn't know it would be something that would hold me down in the coming days.
In our walk with God, there will be seasons in which the waters are rough and it'll look like the end of you, but there are seasons where the sea is so still and the wonderful warmth of the sun kisses your face as if they're from God Himself. I knew that there would be rough and easy seasons when my relationship with God began. I've said it and it's been said to me! But it's so easy for the devil to lie to you when you mess up and fall. It's so easy to fall into the trap of shame and guilt. But there's grace for those times. There's an underserved and unearned kindness, as Pastor Todd said. The Bible says His mercies renew EVERY morning (Lamentations 3:23). Please, just take a moment to realize that. That no matter how badly you feel you've fallen when you run TO God and just talk to Him about it, He will erase it! He is constantly redeeming.
Please, do not hold yourself to such impossible standards. The ONLY person who could keep the commandments of God was Jesus, and He (knowing that) has NEVER accused anyone because He knew that and He still knows that. Did he cast the first stone when the woman committed adultery? No. So why are you throwing stones at yourself?
A mentor of mine reminded me that the moment perfectionism is a goal of yours, you've already set yourself up to fail. It's simply not possible! We are not perfect beings, so don't be so hard on yourself (I say this to myself as much as I say this to you). When you feel ashamed, don't mistake it with humility. Shame does not come from God. Your shame is a lie straight from hell. So forgive yourself, remind yourself that you are a Son or Daughter of the highest God, and embrace this "unmerited, unearned, and undeserved favor and kindness of God."