We talked about getting away from our safe places in Sunday School this morning. About dropping pride to be light in a dark world.
I realized that I’ve come so far in this area. And it’s not any of my doing. I used to be so paranoid about people and their thoughts on me. I cried many, many times in shame I heaped on my own shoulders. I tried people who barely knew me in my court of expectations.
This is a tough way to live. It’s so hard to not have a good view of yourself. You set yourself up for failure when you base your worth on what others think. You set yourself up for shame when you interpret the words and actions of others as attacks on you.
I’m not saying that others are completely innocent in their motives, but it hurts a whole lot less when you consider how far they are from the light of Christ.
It hurts even more when you realize your expectations and your own insecurities are keeping you from basking in the light of forgiveness. It hurts even more when you set the example of doubting yourself and your worth in front of the ones He’s trusted you to love and bring to the light.
How do you break this cycle? You accept that you are who you are because He made you. You accept that shame is not even a thought to entertain in the Kingdom of God.
Jesus said we are to let go of our anger before it turns our hearts toward murder in the Sermon on the Mount. It’s not right for me to let a wrong I’ve committed fester. It’s also not right for me to let shame fester. It’s selfish to deny that I’m needed and loved. I know that is pain speaking. However, do I let my pain rule or do I let Him rule?
Pain can be a comfort zone, but life outside that comfort zone is so much sweeter and blessed. I urge you to take a good look at your heart today. Jesus doesn’t want you living in pain or shame. He wants you to know the comfort of perfect love. I think that’s why He started the Sermon on the Mount with a description of our right attitudes and the example we are in this hurting world.
He tells us to “let our light shine before others so that others can see our good works and glorify our Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
My light gets pretty dim when I visit my comfort zone. How about you?