Self-condemnation is a crude joke we will all play on ourselves. There is a much better and fairer way of approaching life.
Floods in Pakistan reminds us of humanitarian activities in response to disasters; those that often leave us gasping for what to do—we perhaps feel we’re not doing enough even if we’re doing all we can from the positions of relatively small influence we hold.
Or perhaps it’s an issue much closer to home that has us twisted into veritable knots of inner and revolving anguish.
It’s too easy to feel guilty for not doing enough. God’s grace wishes to speak into these situations at a personal level, so we can be gentler with ourselves.
Issuing grace over ourselves is a mighty fine wisdom acknowledging that God wishes us favour, never condemnation.
In these ways, beyond a wholesome discipline which is good for all of us, we make life harder for ourselves at our own peril. Life becomes impossible. Whilst we’re in this state, we can never truly please ourselves and therefore we can never truly please God.
Being Fair With Ourselves Too
We’re to quickly remind ourselves in this that fairness is not just the domain of others; we must ‘inflict’ this kindness also upon ourselves.
Might we just get more personal value from reflecting on what the opposite of self-condemnation is? To choose a word or phrase, we might select: grace, self-kindness, gentleness toward ourselves.
God loves us... even more than we could hope or even imagine. Do we ever just let that reality have its way with us?
Grace is issued over ourselves by ourselves—with the sponsorship of God—and it’s always generally other people who are most at inevitable benefit. Grace over ourselves is the critical point of commencement toward works of good faith and service—works that ‘stick,’ in love.
But most important of all—we’re beaten down in our guilt and shame in totally unnecessary ways. It just has to stop. Let us take courage and be of good cheer... to commence, or continue, the journey toward recovery from guilt and shame, journeying with God.
God loves us! Period.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.