ON ANY given day we’re only about 30-seconds away from being overwhelmed in a life that, given our particular soft spot is activated, will throw us into a tail spin of turmoil. Everyone has such a soft spot.
On any given day. Satan knew that Job was susceptible, even though he was as righteous a person as there ever had been (until that point in history). Yet God would protect only Job’s life. God would not cover for Job’s sin. And that’s the purpose of the book of Job — to show us that God can use our sin-caused humiliations for his glory when we’re teachable in the mix of it.
On any given day there are the circumstances that may fuel a melt-down. Conditions that contribute to our being rendered unbalanced or useless by certain stimuli. Situations that make life in that frame unbearable.
Of course, the enemy of God wants us to feel humiliated.
If we feel humiliated the enemy thinks he’s won. But he’s won nothing. The key to victory lies in accepting broken old me, warts and all. And as soon as we feel no guilt or shame or remorse for being broken old me the devil departs, knowing he’s been thwarted without having a clue as to what to do to wrest back control over our lives.
Humiliation is the key — to render such a feeling null. The only way that works is if we keep ourselves to a short account with the truth — even truth as others might see us. We hold those possible truths in tension with who we are. When truth can subsist in us, humbly, there’s no power for or possibility of humiliation.
On any given day we’re humiliated. But on any given day we can respond with audacity — to regale in the guilt or shame or remorse with courageous honest, which requires vulnerability. That’s the essence of human maturity — to remain vulnerable in the face of truth, with no defence nor attack considered.
This is the key to life and growth.
Only the person who has nothing to fear from guilt and shame and remorse can come close to God, for they’ve come close to themselves. They’re not the slightest bit perturbed that they feel exposed and embarrassed. Sure, they should, and perhaps they feel an inkling of that negative stimuli, but they accept themselves more, and are able to hold themselves with dignity in those threatening moments.
Self-acceptance is the final frontier in the race to accepting the unconditional love of God. If we accept ourselves, including our nasty and shameful bits, we have the capacity to understand the depth of God’s love for us.
The opposite also works: understand the depth of God’s love for us, ourselves, and we learn to accept ourselves.
Accepting broken old fallible me is tantamount in understanding and accepting the brokenness in every human being.
We’re more fully able to love others when at last we’re free to love ourselves as God loves us.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.