Step 5: Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
19 “This is the basis for judgment: The light came into the world, and people loved darkness more than the light, for their actions are evil. 20 All who do wicked things hate the light and don’t come to the light for fear that their actions will be exposed to the light. John 3:19-20, CEB
From yesterday: The voice of shame is strong. Too strong to resist on our own.
All of this talk about shame has a point. Our ability to live in the light is not just based on our willingness to confess and being exposed, it’s also based on our ability to seek out truth and live in accordance with it. When we believe the lies that shame tells us, we are settling for something less than the truth and this has negative consequences for our lives. We’re overrun by anxiety or depression. We either overperform because we’re striving to earn God’s favor or we underperform because we’ve decided we’re never going to get God’s favor…so why even try?
I told a story a few days back about learning the beauty and the freedom that comes from not having a defense against perceived threats. It just plain feels good (depending on circumstances, of course) not to become defensive when someone or something attacks us. Resisting shame is choosing not to defend ourselves against shame’s message.
We do not need to defend ourselves when shame asks, Why haven’t you done more? We don’t need to defend ourselves when shame asks, Why aren’t you sober yet? We don’t need to defend ourselves when shame asks, Why are you not yet well?
We don’t need a defense because these are not prerequisites for God’s acceptance and love. We may be disappointed about things we’ve done or not done with our lives. Disappointment is a perfectly acceptable response. Shame, however, is not. We can be disappointed without being defensive. Defensiveness is just a way of saying to shame, “You have a point.”
Shame does not have a point. Let’s be aware. Let’s resist.