She had plans…good intentions. When we met at the beginning of the week her face was bright and hopeful. Her words were determined and sure.
But now as we sipped our sodas in my car at Sonic, she seemed deflated and…ashamed.
“It almost sounds as if you’re ashamed of yourself,” I offered carefully.
She put her drink cup in her lap, stirred the straw around nervously and admitted, “I am.”
But she didn’t need to be. You and I don’t either.
Sure, things hadn’t gone as she’d planned. She hadn’t accomplished a few of the things on her to-do list, her emotions had gotten the best of her a few times and one day she’d spent the day in her pajamas. But she didn’t need to be ashamed of that.
You and I don’t either.
If you’ve felt the gracious grip of conviction over a particular act or attitude or conversation…lean into it. Listen to it. Heed it. Let godly guilt produce godly sorrow and genuine repentance.
But if a blanket of self-loathing and shame has settled on you because of “everything you did wrong” yesterday…shake free of it.
That’s not God. He doesn’t blanket you with shame; He covers you with grace. He doesn’t shake His head in disappointment; He extends His hand in understanding. He doesn’t turn you away in disgust; He embraces you with patience.
I hope you are rejoicing over sweet victories and blessed triumphs as we approach the end of this singular week on the calendar of eternity. But if you’ve had a tough week…the kind where
- you said the wrong thing more often than the right
- you slipped down instead of climbing up
- you took two steps backward for every one you took forward
- you felt helpless in a sea of overwhelming emotions
- you had good intentions…but…