Shame off you!

Shame off you!

You have rejected the Word of God and do not think yourselves worthy of eternal life. Acts 13:44-52

Interesting. It’s not God’s judgement, but their own that separates them from eternal life.

Shame based identity, not worthy of good things


Debby and her cousin Paula

Debby and her cousin Paula

I have lived from a shame based identity my whole life. It is built into my DNA. Both my parents grew up in homes that were ruled by judgement. My dad’s angrily minimizing. My mom’s righteously rejecting. How could I not be rooted in shame? I remember the baby picture of my cousin and me at 6 weeks, she chubby, healthy looking, me scrawny and spidery looking. And the comments surrounding the comparison, “You weren’t as pretty as Paula, but you were ours.” I was less than, but loved.

The less-than mentality became my identity. Unconsciously I lived from a sense of unworthiness. Within the bubble of my family I was acceptable but outside of the confines of our family system, I didn’t measure up.

As a child when my friends and I would play with our Barbies, I insisted on playing the role of the maid. The servant, behind the scenes who would gather the clothing and the items the other’s needed to play out the scenes their imaginations invented.

This is not a foreshadowing of being a servant for the sake of putting other’s interests above my own. No, I remember the feeling of not being adequate, of not being worthy to join the play. I was less-than even at age seven.

How many times have I rejected the good offered me because I didn’t think I deserved it?

Out of the shame that binds

My less-than-ness had driven me to extremes, had broken me. I was desperate for hope and peace. Thank goodness God intervened! I heard the good news of God’s personal love for me when I was seventeen. My anguish had breached the wall that surrounded my less-than self and made a way for God’s eternal life to enter.

Like Lazarus, who had been given life at Jesus’ word, but was still wrapped in grave clothes, I too have the eternal life of Christ within me and yet am still bound by shame. To a much lesser degree than I once was, thank you Lord, but still tainted by the fear that I am not worthy.

Maybe you can relate to my experience.

How many times have you rejected the good offered to you because you don’t believe you are worthy of it? or it is too good to be true? or you are afraid of disappointment? Come on, let’s take God at God’s word.

Let me help unwrap the grave clothes that bind you.

“You are my beloved child, in whom I am well pleased.”

God is your perfect parent, there is no shame associated in belonging to this family.

You are beloved. Exactly as you are, no comparisons in God’s family photo album.

God is pleased with you. You are not a disappointment, you are invited to join the play.

With you on the journey,

What Jesus desires

Thoughts on John 17:1-11

Supper is finished. The hour has come. Your discourse turns to prayer and it takes on a surrealistic quality. It’s as if the upper room and your disciples faded away, the scene becomes a frozen tableau. You seem transported into close communion with your Father and we witness a very intimate conversation, you speak of your glory and your desire.

For yourself you want only to bring glory to your Father. For your disciples, for me, you want intimate knowledge of your truth and union with one another.

Truths: I belong to God. God has given me to Jesus. Jesus has given me eternal life. Eternal life consists in knowing God and keeping his word. Knowing God translates into remembering all comes from his great hand. Keeping his word means maintaining union with one another as Jesus and the Father are one.

I belong to God, not to myself, not to my family or my roles, but to God. I am created and sealed by his love and good will.

I have been entrusted to Jesus. His love reveals my humble value. I am worth his dying sacrifice. He carried the cross and he carries me. I am his lamb.

I have eternal life. It begins NOW in the constant exchange that takes place in my heart between God and me. Today, I enjoy the eternal rest of peace and joy.

I receive all as gifts from your heart of love. All creation is your offering to me, meant to draw me into your circle.

I am not alone, I am part of the whole. May I bring glory and honor to all brothers and sisters in Christ and they to me.

Thank you Jesus, for praying for me, keep it up!  Amen.